Wayland College opened for classes in 1910. Wayland women played club sport basketball against high schools from 1910 until 1948, when the team played its first college game, beating Texas Tech. The team played its first AAU competition the same year and official game statistics were started. The Wayland team played its first International Competition in 1950 against Mexico. In 1951, Claude and Wilda Hutcherson of Hutcherson Flying Service began sponsoring the team. They adopted the Huthcerson Flying Queens name that year and were flown to away games in Hutcherson’s small planes. Wayland then became the first collegiate program in history to provide 13 full scholarships, attracting 40 to 50 women each year for tryouts.
While most of us are aware of our unparalleled history from the Hutcherson era to the present, many may be unaware that the history of women’s basketball at Wayland is as old and rich as the institution itself. Chartered in 1908, Wayland opened its doors for its first official classes in 1910. Burr Goode Carter, modern language instructor, recalled Wayland’s first women’s basketball team: “In the spring of 1911, a group of the college girls asked me to coach their basketball team. We played only one game that first season. Lubbock High challenged us to play, and we confidently accepted. They were physically our superior, and we got beat.”
From 1910-11 through 1945-46, women competed on a club sports basis against local high schools, with a college sponsor and a student coach. The women organized and financed themselves, provided their own uniforms, and competed against local high school teams. They were proud of their teams and this pride was reflected in the 1928 Wayland yearbook. “. . . we feel that there has been laid a foundation for girls’ athletics at this institution that will materialize until we have one of the best girls’ basketball teams that can be found anywhere in this country.”
In 1946-47 the girls’ basketball club asked Harley Redin, Wayland’s athletic director and boys’ basketball coach, to tutor them. Wayland’s president, “Bill” Marshall, took an interest in the team and for the 1947-48 school year assigned Sam Allen, part-time student and track coach the responsibility of developing the women’s basketball program. This was the first season in which the Queens played another college. They defeated Texas Tech 27-9. AAU play was introduced in 1948-49. The first three Wayland-assigned coaches, Sam Allen, Hank Garland, and Caddo Matthews were part-time in that each coached the women’s team while finishing a Wayland degree program. In 1955-56, Harley Redin became the first full-time coach of the team. In order to expand the program, Wayland sought out team sponsors. The Harvest Queen Mill began sponsoring the team in 1948-49 and the team was named Harvest Queens. In the spring of 1950-51, President Marshall asked Claude Hutcherson of Hutcherson Air Service to fly the Queens to games in Mexico City. This was such a good experience that Claude and Wilda Hutcherson assumed sponsorship and the team’s name was changed to Hutcherson Flying Queens. Now with a total 13 different coaching eras, Wayland’s Hutcherson Flying Queens is the winningest collegiate women’s basketball program in the country.