Jeff Claypool '69
Lexington, Ohio’s Jeff Claypool became Grove City College’s first basketball All-American during his career from 1965-69. He graduated in 1969 with a B.A. in psychology.
The 6-foot-7 Claypool combined his physical gifts with intense dedication, enthusiasm and a desire to excel. As a result, he emerged as one of the finest small-college basketball players ever in western Pennsylvania. His college coach was Cliff Wettig and his high school coach was John Barr, who later became head coach at Grove City College.
In his senior year, Claypool averaged 29.8 points per game, the highest single-season average in College history. His 686 points that season is also tops in the men’s record books. Following the season, he earned Small College All-American from both the Associated Press and United Press International.
Claypool is still GCC’s all-time leading scorer for men’s teams with 2,234 career points and the leading rebounder with 1,167. He owns three of the five highest single-season point totals in College history and his 319 rebounds in 1966-67 is first in the record books. His 19 field goals scored in one game remains a record.
Claypool’s single-game record of 46 points stood for 25 years. He also held 24 of 28 season, career and individual basketball records at Grove City. He was selected Western Pennsylvania Player of the Year in his last two seasons and ranked among the nation’s leaders in scoring and field-goal percentage.
The Sportsman of the Year plaque was awarded to him in both his junior and senior years, thus making him the first two-time honoree in the lengthy list of the sportsman awards. Following his senior year, the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets and the ABA’s New York Nets both selected Claypool in their respective college drafts.