To the Mount


There is something for everyone in the story of tiny Mount St. Mary's College of Emmitsburg, now in the national men's college basketball playoffs.

A school of 1,400 students -- the oldest independent Catholic college in America -- has made it to the prestigious NCAA basketball tournament for the first time.

Students of the game will be drawn to the professorial style of bow-tied Coach Jim Whelan, who has quietly chalked up 737 career wins. He was urged to retire by the college president to make room for younger blood a few years back, but he's still there -- and the president isn't.

Coach Phelan has inspired and shaped legions of young people at the Mount in his 41 years there. That is the essence of Jim Phelan's contribution. He deserves the credit he's receiving for taking the Mountaineers to college basketball's "big dance."

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