Greatest Basketball Coach Of All Time?
Last night, I was with two other sport fans (Steve G and Primetime), and we had an interesting discussion on college basketball – specifically college basketball records. And it led me to realize some pretty fascinating facts which I’ll share at the end. But first, let me hit some highlights of our conversation…….
The first question we threw out there was: “Who is the all-time winningest college basketball coach?” Steve G was right with Pat Summitt from Tennessee, but since we were really talking about men coaches, I was convinced that it was a guy named Don Meyer who coached over 26 years here in Tennessee, but I was trumped with more obvious names like Bobby Knight, John Wooden, and Mike Krzyzewski. When we looked it up on several different web sites, we confirmed that Bobby Knight (902 wins) passed Dean Smith’s 879 wins and Adolph Rupp’s 876 wins. Not sure what year that info was written, but since so many websites concurred, I assumed I was wrong.
That led us to the next question: “Who is college basketball’s all-time leading scorer?” The immediate name mentioned was Pete Maravich and several sites confirmed him at #1 with his 3,667 points. I was convinced it was one of two local guys – either John Pierce or Phillip Hutcheson. However, we saw on ESPN.com that Travis Grant had 4,045 points during his career at Kentucky State University, so that put him at the #1 position. So, I was wrong again.
Or was I?
After some more investigation, I not only found out that I was correct, but I found a few other things that I consider quite fascinating. Check this out….
#1) Don Meyer, who coached 29 years at David Lipscomb (a local college here in Nashville), became the All-Time Winningest Coach in 2009, when he passed Bobby Knight with his 903rd win. He ended up retiring that year with a total of 923 wins. Meyer is the winningest men’s coach in NCAA wins, but trails NAIA men’s coach Harry Statham and Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball coach Pat Summitt in career wins.
#2) John Pierce, a Lipscomb alum who played for Meyer, is indeed the All-Time Scoring Leader in College Basketball. He finished his career with 4,230 career points, which to this day is the most points ever scored by a college player (If you care to see John today, check out his endorsement in the video on my website: www.myBHX.com. Except for the glasses, he looks the same as he did when he broke that record.)
#3) Pierce might have become the all-time leading scorer in 1994, but what’s really interesting is who he passed to become #1. The previous scoring leader was Phillip Hutcheson, another David Lipscomb athlete who just so happened to be Pierce’s roommate 4 years earlier. Hutcheson is the one who broke Travis Grant’s record, and he ended his career with 4,106 points, which at the time, made him College Basketball’s All-Time Scorer.
But it gets even better……
#4) On February 24, 1994, the same night that John Pierce gained national attention for breaking Hutcheson’s scoring record, another Lipscomb player set a school ‘single game’ record with 11 three-pointers. His name is Andy McQueen and what’s fascinating is McQueen finished his career with 515 three-pointers which makes him College Basketball’s All-Time 3-Point Scorer.
Oh…. I’m not done….
#5) Remember Don Meyer from above? Well, his son Jerry Meyer who also played at Lipscomb for a couple of years, finished his career with 1,314 assists, which just so happens to make him College Basketball’s All-Time Assist Leader.
I mean, could there be any more “all-time records” from that school? Actually…… yes.
#6) Marcus Bodie, another Lipscomb guy who played for Don Meyer, not only holds the single-season steals record of 175, but he also is known as College Basketball’s All-Time Steals Leader with a career record of 440.
Well, you might not have found this as fascinating as me, but you have to admit that Don Meyer must be doing something right.
Now, who’s your greatest coach of all time?