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.