The George Washington University: Athletics News

Arthur (Otts) Zahn
Arthur (Otts) Zahn

Basketball, Baseball & Coach (Inducted 1997)


Arthur D. (Otts) Zahn, who lettered in men's basketball and base ball three times ('31-33), was a fine coach as well as a GW player. An FBI employee and also an assistant baseball coach for the Colonials, he replaced another Athletic Hall of Famer, Bill Reinhart, in 1942-43 as basketball coach when Reinhart left the University for duty in World War II. Zahn's first team ('43), co-captained by Joe Gallagher, a future coaching legend and another Athletic Hall of Famer, was 17-6 and won GW's first Southern Conference championship, sweeping past highly favored Duke, 56-40, in the title game at Raleigh, N.C.

Following World War II (and the suspension of hoop activities at GW), Zahn returned to the bench for an abbreviated 7-8 season in '46 and then compiled outstanding back-to-back campaigns of 21-7 and 19-7 in '47 and '48 respectively. Unfortunately, as serious kidney illness forced him to relinquish his coaching duties prior to the '48-49 season to George Garber. He retired with an overall record of 64-29 (.688) in four seasons and, sadly, died at the age of 40 in 1952.

Zahn was survived by his late wife, Mallory, of Alexandria, Va., and one son, Arthur F. (French) Zahn.

Athletics News Home

  Printer-friendly format   Email this article

The George Washington University Nike Atlantic 10 NCAA NCAA