Henry Iba

Henry Iba

Henry Payne "Hank" Iba (August 6, 1904 - January 15, 1993) was a well-known college men's basketball coach.

Early life

Iba was born and raised in Easton, Missouri. He played college basketball at Westminster College, where he also became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

Oklahoma State University

After coaching stints at Maryville Teacher's College (now Northwest Missouri State University) and the University of Colorado, Iba came to Oklahoma A&M College in 1934. He stayed at Oklahoma A&M, renamed Oklahoma State University in 1957, for 36 years until his retirement after the 1969-70 season. For most of his tenure at A&M/OSU, he doubled as athletic director.

Iba's teams were methodical, ball-controlling units that featured weaving patterns and low scoring games. Iba's "swinging gate" defense (a man-to-man with team flow) was applauded by many, and is still effective in today's game. He was known as "the Iron Duke of Defense." Iba is thought to be one of the toughest coaches in NCAA history. He was a very methodical coach, and he always wanted things done perfectly.

Iba's Aggies became the first to win consecutive NCAA titles (1945 and 1946). His 1945-46 NCAA champions were led by Bob Kurland, the game's first seven-foot player. They beat NYU in the 1945 finals and North Carolina in the 1946 finals. He was voted coach of the year in both seasons. His 1945 champions also defeated National Invitation Tournament champion, DePaul, and 6-9 center George Mikan in a classic Red Cross Benefit game.

A&M/State teams won 14 Missouri Valley titles and one Big Eight title, and won 655 games in 36 seasons. All told, in 40 years of coaching, he won 767 games--the second-most in college basketball history at the time of his retirement, and still third best in NCAA Division I history. As OSU's athletic director, he built a program that won 19 national championships in 5 sports (basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf, cross country) over the years.

After his retirement, "Mr. Iba" (as he is still called at OSU) frequently showed up at practices, often giving advice to young players. Because of his presence, there remains an empty seat in Gallagher-Iba Arena, known as "Mr. Iba's Seat", and it is maintained without a fan having sat in it.

Iba died on January 15, 1993, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Olympic Coaching

Mr. Iba coached the USA Olympic basketball team in 1964, 1968 and 1972. He is the only coach in USA Olympic basketball history to win two gold medals (1964 in Tokyo; 1968 in Mexico City). The 1972 final resulted in a controversial loss to the Soviet Union breaking Team USA's 63-game win streak since basketball was introduced to the Olympics in 1936.

Honors and Awards

He was elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Missouri Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation All-Time Hall of Fame for basketball, National College Basketball Hall of Fame (in 2007), FIBA Hall of Fame (in 2007) and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at Springfield, Mass.

Iba was indirectly responsible for a $165 million donation to the Oklahoma State University Athletic Program. The 1950s were difficult times for the oil industry [http://www.horatioalger.com/members/member_info.cfm?memberid=PIC06] and in 1951 a young unemployed graduate of OSU with a degree in petroleum geology was looking for a job and asked Iba for help. Iba set the young graduate up with two interviews for high-school basketball coaching jobs and although the graduate didn't end up becoming a coach, the favor Iba did for him was the impetus behind T. Boone Pickens' decision 50 years later to make a $165 million donation to Oklahoma State University's athletic program. "Mr. Iba, he would be very, very happy with my performance," Pickens said. [http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=261449]

Coaching Tree

Iba is known for his coaching tree. Coaches in this tree typically use a physical man to man defense and an offense predicated on ball movement and passing. They are linked to Iba through their mentors. Some notable coaches who are included in this tree, either by themselves or by the media:

* Adolph Rupp (coach at Kentucky 1930-1972)
* John Wooden (coach at Indiana State 1946-1948, coach at UCLA 1948-1975)
* Bob Knight (coach at Army 1965-1971, coach at Indiana 1972-2000, and coach at Texas Tech 2001-2008)
* Eddie Sutton (coach at Creighton 1969-1974; Arkansas 1975-1984; Kentucky 1985-1989; Okla. State 1990-2006, San Francisco 2007-present)
* Sean Sutton (coach at OSU 2006-2008)
* Scott Sutton (head coach, Oral Roberts University, 1999-present)
* Doc Sadler (head coach, Nebraska, 2006-present)
* Moe Iba (son, head coach, Nebraska, 1981-1986)
* Jack Hartman (coach, Kansas State, 1970-1986)
* Bill Self (coach at Oral Roberts 1993-1997, coach at Tulsa 1997-2000, coach at Illinois 2000-2003, coach at Kansas 2003-present)
* Billy Gillispie (coach at UTEP 2002-2004, coach at Texas A&M 2004-2007, coach at Kentucky 2007-present)
* Don Haskins (coach at Texas Western/UTEP 1961-1999)

The Henry Iba Award

The [http://www.oscarrobertsontrophy.org/content/view/11/7/ Henry Iba Award] was established in 1959 to recognize the best college basketball coach of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Five nominees are presented and the individual with the most votes receives the award which is presented in conjunction with the Final Four. This Award is presented at [http://www.oscarrobertsontrophy.org The Oscar Robertson Trophy] breakfast the Friday before the Final Four.

External links

* [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Iba.htm Basketball Hall of Fame profile]
* [http://www.oscarrobertsontrophy.org/content/view/11/7/ The Henry Iba Award]
* [http://www.oscarrobertsontrophy.org/content/view/21/18/ Past Henry Iba Award Winners]

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