UD Flyers superfan credits grandfather with love for basketball

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – For some people, attending University of Dayton Flyer games may just be another part of college life, but for the Zugelder’s its a family affair and tradition.

Zach Zugelder takes his love for the Dayton Flyers to new heights, following the team around from one city to the next. 

“Maui, Orlando, St. Louis, Pittsburg…” he said.

It’s hard to count how many games he’s been to. 

“My earliest memories are watching those games with my grandpa and my great grandma and cheering on the Flyers and being with them, so I was born into it,” Zugelder said.

In his time at the University of Dayton, he was a blue man for the team. He dressed in blue body paint from head to toe and dawned a red mohawk wig.  

“What UD basketball does is make this community a better place. It makes us all happier. It makes us smarter and I think it gives us a sense of community,” Zugelder said.

He credits his grandfather for his fanaticism. Before his passing, he proudly drove with a Flyer alumni vanity plate and was once featured in a game day program. 

“My grandpa used to always tell stories of the 1967 flyers and the ’64 Flyers when I was growing up and really got me into the love of the history of the Flyer basketball,” Zugelder said.

This is now the third season without his grandfather. Zugelder says he does his best to carry his grandfather’s legacy. 

“I’m up on my feet making sure the refs can hear me all the way up in my 200 section. So, I want to make sure I live his memory,” Zugelder said.

No doubt he’s beaming from the team’s success right now. He hopes he can tell stories of this season to his children the way his grandfather did for him. 

“This has been such an amazing and special season and I’m just happy to be a part it,” Zugelder said.

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