Bill Hougland transferred to Beloit High School his junior year in 1947. He then took the team to its first state championship game, and brought them back again his senior year. After graduating, Bill was recruited by KU’s Phog Allen. Hougland’s senior year saw the Jayhawks emerge as champions of the now Big Eight conference, and of the 1952 NCAA tournament.
Seven of the KU team were selected to play in the Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Among those was one Bill Hougland.
That year was the first year Russia sent a basketball team. The U.S. team came up against the Eastern country twice, winning both times to take home the gold.
Working for the Phillips Petroleum Company, Hougland was eligible to play for the Phillips 66 team in the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) league. In 1956, Hougland’s team won the Olympic playoffs, and he was off to Melbourne, Australia, as captain of the U.S. team.
Again, the U.S. team took the gold, and it was Hougland, as team captain, who accepted the gold on the victory stand.