Born: June 20, 1930 – Caldwell, KS
Graduated: Beloit High School, 1948; University of Kansas, 1952
Deceased: March 6, 2017 - Lawrence, KS
William M. “Bill” Hougland was the first basketball player in Olympic history to win two gold medals, something he accomplished at the 1952 games in Helsinki, Finland, and the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
High School Career
Hougland was born in Caldwell, but moved from El Dorado to Beloit with his parents before the start of the 1946-47 school year. The 6-foot-4 Hougland became one of the state’s best players, leading Beloit High School to the Class A state championship game for the first time in school history. He also played in the state tournament in 1948 and earned all-state honors.
Hougland enrolled at the University of Kansas and played in 77 basketball games during his three-year varsity career. He was a senior starter during the 1951-1952 season when the Jayhawks won the national championship with an 80-63 victory over St. John’s.
Olympic & Professional Career
Hougland and several of his KU teammates represented the United States in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and brought home the gold medal. Hougland went on to play for the Phillips 66 AAU basketball team, which won the Olympic playoffs in 1956 to qualify for the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. The United States won again as Hougland, the team captain, brought home his second gold medal. Hougland left the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1961 and went to work for Koch Industries for 30 years before retiring in 1991.