Philadelphia University’s Legendary Men’s Basketball Coach Herb Magee will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Coach Herb Magee
Coach Herb Magee

PHILADELPHIA, April 4, 2011 – Philadelphia University men’s basketball coach Herb Magee, the all-time, all-division NCAA wins leader with 922 career wins, will be inducted with the Class of 2011 into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made live at noon on NBA TV in Houston, where the NCAA Championship game will be played later tonight.  Magee will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame during festivities in Springfield, Mass., on August 12. 

"I am completely humbled to be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame," said Coach Magee.  "I have dedicated my life to the game of basketball, and to become a member of this sport’s elite group of players and coaches is an honor.”

 Magee, who is renowned as a coach, player and “shot doc” to top NBA stars, became the all-time winningest men’s NCAA coach in all divisions when he passed Coach Bobby Knight’s record of 902 wins on Feb. 23, 2010.    

“Hall-of-Famer Herb Magee has been inspiring us as a player and coach for more than 50 years,” said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr.  “He takes great pride and pleasure in mentoring his student-athletes, both on and off the court, as well as helping NBA stars perfect their shot.  At Philadelphia University, we’ve always known he is at the top of the game, and now the rest of the world knows this, too.”

“I’m thrilled for him and his family and for the Philadelphia University family and for the Philadelphia basketball community,” said Temple University basketball coach Fran Dunphy, a friend of Magee’s and colleague in the close-knit Philadelphia basketball community.  “I think it means a lot for us to have Herb honored in this way.

On Feb. 18, the Hall of Fame announced that Magee was one of 12 finalists for induction with the Class of 2011.  The finalists were then presented to the Honors Committee and needed to receive a minimum of 18 of 24 votes to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

“The name Herb Magee has been synonymous with Philadelphia University since his arrival on campus in 1959. He has excelled as a student, an All-American athlete and now as a Hall of Fame basketball coach,” said Tom Shirley, athletic director and women’s basketball coach at Philadelphia University. “Entering the Hall as the winningest NCAA coach of all time only adds to his legacy of success.”

“We congratulate Coach Magee and thank him for his contributions to the sport of basketball and his accomplishments on behalf of Philadelphia University,” Shirley said.

A Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Sports Hall of Famer, Magee has had an extraordinary career during his 51 seasons as a player and coach at Philadelphia University.

Magee became the #1 all-time Division II men’s basketball coach in NCAA history on February 1, 2007, when he earned win 829 to break the mark previously held by Winston-Salem State’s Clarence "Big House" Gaines.

Continuing his record-breaking success, Magee then passed former Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp’s NCAA record of 877 wins and former North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s NCAA record of 879 career wins.

In just his third year of coaching, Magee led the Rams to a 1970 NCAA National Championship, and has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament 25 times.

At 69, Magee is still at the top of his game and respected throughout the basketball world as perhaps the greatest shooting coach of all time.  Charles Barkley, Malik Rose, Sebastian Telfair and Jameer Nelson are among those who have sought the  help of the “shot doc” to improve their jump shots.  It was recently announced that Magee will be working with 76ers star Evan Turner during the 2011 off-season. 

Magee also is a highly respected coaching mentor, and many of his former assistants have gone on to top coaching jobs, including Pat Chambers at Boston University.     

Although he’s had opportunities to move to DI and NBA teams, Magee has chosen to stay close to his family and hometown of Philadelphia.  Having lost both his parents by age 13, this scrappy 5’10” kid from West Philadelphia was a playground legend during the time of Earl Monroe, Wali Jones and Walt Hazzard, and starred at famed West Catholic High along with lifetime friends and future coaches Jim Lynam and Jim Boyle. 

After his playing days, he was drafted by the Celtics, but instead chose to make his mark as a coach, becoming head coach at his alma mater in 1966. Remarkably, Magee has won more than 1,100 games with the Rams, including his years as a player and coach.

A two-time All-America selection at what was then Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science,  Magee ended his college career as the Rams’ top scorer and today remains the team’s third all-time high scorer with 2,235 career points – an extraordinary achievement in the era before the three-point shot.

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,500 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs.  As the model professional university for the 21st century, the University prepares students to be leaders in their professions, in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment with a strong foundation in the liberal arts.  Philadelphia University includes Schools of Architecture, Business Administration, Design and Engineering, Liberal Arts and Science and Health.