Omaha – It was a special year for UNO in 2013 with countless events, achievements, special guest visits and national recognitions for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
It was 1965 when UNO's Dean of International Studies and Programs, Thomas E. Gouttiere, first traveled to Afghanistan as a member of the Peace Corps. While it certainly wouldn't be the last of his visits, it would certainly be one of the most formative for Gouttierre, and for country.
Soon after Gouttierre arrived he was asked to coach a local team of high schoolers, which soon traslated into an offer to coach the country's first national team in a competition against India and Pakistan.
While those two games never came to fruition, through hard work, luck and some help from legendary coach John Wooden, as well as legendary player Bill Bradley, Gouttierre was given the chance to coach another national team in 1970, this time against visiting China. It was this game, which Afghanistan won 58 - 39, that shocked both countries and kickstarted a now 40-year history for the country in the sport.
In July, this story was featured in a 10-page spread in Sports Illustrated with the title: "The Wizard of Kabul"
Previous 'Best of 2013':
UNO Launches Women in IT Initiative