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John Kiser


Material Information

John Kiser
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (34 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Kiser, John
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


John Kiser, a 1974 graduate of USF, discusses his educational career at the university, including his involvement with Sigma Nu fraternity, collegiate sports and campus activities.
Interview conducted August 24, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029139831
oclc - 262478261
usfldc doi - U23-00165
usfldc handle - u23.165
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
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Kiser, John.
John Kiser
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Andrew Huse.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (34 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted August 24, 2004.
John Kiser, a 1974 graduate of USF, discusses his educational career at the university, including his involvement with Sigma Nu fraternity, collegiate sports and campus activities.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Kiser, John.
2 610
University of South Florida.
Sigma Nu.
University of South Florida
x Basketball.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Huse, Andrew T.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856


COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 2008, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrig hted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fo wler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.


1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: John Kiser Interviewer: Andrew Huse Current Position: USF Alumnus Location of Interview: Phone Date of Interview: August 4, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Mary E. Yeary Date of Abstract: October 13, 2004 Date of Edit: October 15, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Mr. Kiser came to USF in 1970 as a student and basketball player. Athletics Though he atte nded USF as a basketball player, Mr. Kiser was "rather blessed," excelling at both football and basketball during his high school years. While Purdue was offering him the opportunity to play football, USF took note of his basketball skills, making a trip t o his home in Indiana to visit him. He and his head coach "talked about USF, and the challenges that were ahead for the university" since it was the first year of the basketball program at South Florida. Goals for USF When representatives from USF approac h him, they talked about their goals for the basketball program. "They wanted to be Division I right away ... [they] had a wonderful program ... To do something that is brand new starting a tradition that intrigued me because I am pretty much a self st arter ... To be part of history that all intrigues me." Basketball Asked why he chose basketball over football, he explains, "Well, I was about 6'3" at the time and probably 195 pounds ... When I went to Purdue, [I thought] this may not be for me!" His statistics as a high school basketball player were very high, "and those kind of stats got a lot of attention." And, he jokingly remarks about his choice of sports, "I wanted to stay alive!" First basketball season Mr. Kiser was the first student to recei ve a basketball scholarship at the University of South Florida. He was also the first player on the basketball team to score a point in the history of the university (a free throw shot). Then head coach Don Williams had laid out a plan in the very first ye ar to get the team up to Division I status. "That's what I wanted ... to be with something that was progressive, that I could grow with and be part of [the] history of the university. You don't get those chances very often."


2 After a visit from Coach Willi ams, Kiser and his family decided to make a trip from Indiana down to Tampa. "Once I got to the university they treated me very well ... There was a little gym on campus. They took me down to Curtis Hixon Convention Center that's where we played our home games." Initial impressions The university at the time (1969), he recalls, was "rather impressive. Of course being in Florida when you're from Indiana ... was very attractive ... It was a large school, but it was a small school atmosphere on campus." E verything in the athletic department, Kiser reflects, "was done first class." Academics After satisfying basic academic requirements his first two years, Kiser had initially hoped to enter the Physical Education department with aspirations of coaching. I nstead, he chose to study the muscles of the human body, believing that might be a valuable asset in the future. Sports at USF In terms of collegiate athletics at USF in 1970, Kiser remembers, "The soccer program was awesome, basketball was brand new, [a nd] baseball was in the middle of the road." Because the basketball team played off campus, he does not believe they got the involvement and support initially that some of the other sports did. Often times, students would only make the trip to Curtis Hixon Hall for a game if the Bulls were playing more popular and well known schools. "We didn't have the following from the university. We had more of a following from the community at that stage ... Which was good at that point [because] you get people contrib uting to the growth of the program." Campus activism Kiser also remembers the protests and demonstrations that characterized college campuses in the 1970s. "South Florida ... let us express ourselves pretty well ... it wasn't where they came down hard on us ... [There was] never really anything of any magnitude where there was trouble." Particularly after the incident at Kent State University, "there was a lot of sadness" among students at USF and all around the country. Greek life Outside of academics a nd athletics, Kiser joined the Sigma Nu fraternity. "I have to say that Sigma Nu taught me to become a better person once I got out of the university." One of the biggest events among fraternity members was when all of the Greeks would congregate for the a nnual "big splash" weekend. "What it takes is somebody to take the first step, and that's what Sigma Nu taught me ... It's meant a lot to my life." Off campus hangouts Off campus, Kiser remembers Master Pizza being a popular restaurant and social hangout. The basketball team also tended to congregate at DeSoto Hall where they all resided.


3 Closing remarks "The thing about South Florida and what it means to me is, you know, they haven't forgotten who I am ... and I offer my services back to [them]." "Eve ry morning you get up, you smile, you thank the Lord, and you go on. That's what South Florida has done for me ... I still feel part of the university thirty four years later." End of Interview