McGuire at St. John's
November 8, 1914|
New York City, New York
November 11, 1994 (aged 80)|
Columbia, South Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 1977
College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Frank Joseph McGuire (November 8, 1914 – November 11, 1994) was an American athletic coach who gained his greatest renown in collegiate basketball.
Born in New York City as the youngest of thirteen children in an Irish-American family, to New York police officer, Robert McGuire and his wife, the former Anne Lynch (his father dying when Frank was only two years old). He attended Xavier High School graduating in 1933, McGuire graduated from St. John's University in 1936, playing under legendary head coach Joe Lapchick. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, interrupting his work as a teacher and coach at his high school. Prior to 1947 he also played pro basketball briefly in the American Basketball League.
Coaching at St. John's
After Lapchick left St. John's to coach the New York Knicks in 1947, McGuire became head basketball and baseball coach at his alma mater. He led the baseball team to the College World Series in 1949 and the basketball team to the Final Four in 1952 – becoming one of only three coaches to achieve both accomplishments.
Coaching at North Carolina
In 1952, McGuire left St. John's to become basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. On paper, this was a significant step down from St. John's, as UNC was not reckoned as a national power at the time. However, school officials wanted a big-name coach to counter the rise of rival North Carolina State under Everett Case.
With a roster largely made of players from in and around New York City, McGuire guided North Carolina to an undefeated 32-0 season in 1956-57, capped off by winning the NCAA championship game 54-53 in triple overtime against the Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas Jayhawks.
In 1961, UNC was found guilty of major NCAA violations. Combined with rumors of point shaving by some UNC players, this led Chancellor William Aycock to force McGuire's resignation after the season. The man who replaced him was Dean Smith, his assistant coach whom he recommended for the job.
Coaching at Philadelphia Warriors
Shortly after he left North Carolina, McGuire became the head coach of the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors and coached Chamberlain during the Warriors' last season before they moved to San Francisco, California. McGuire resigned rather than move west with the team. During his season playing for McGuire, Chamberlain set his all time record for scoring average in a season, of 50.4 points per game.
Coaching at South Carolina
Following his brief period in the NBA, McGuire became basketball coach at the University of South Carolina in 1964. The Gamecocks achieved national prominence under McGuire in his sixth year. They went undefeated in the ACC in 1970, but were denied an NCAA berth when they lost the ACC championship game in double overtime to North Carolina State; in those days only one team per conference was guaranteed a bid. Their 25 wins that year are still a school record. They won the ACC tournament in 1971 – to this day, the only ACC tourney title won by a school from the state of South Carolina. The Gamecocks went independent after that season, and McGuire would then go on to take the Gamecocks to three more NCAA Tournaments and two National Invitation Tournaments as an independent. He retired from coaching after the 1979-80 season. To this day, McGuire is far and away the winningest coach in Gamecocks history. The playing surface at the Gamecocks' former arena, Carolina Coliseum, is named Frank McGuire Arena in his honor. He is also an honorary brother of the Alpha Eta chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma at the University of South Carolina.
McGuire holds the record for most victories in a season without a loss, together with Bobby Knight of the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, at 32-0.
He achieved the number one ranking with both the University of North Carolina and South Carolina, and is one of three coaches--John Calipari, Larry Brown and Roy Williams are the others—to take two different schools to the NCAA Finals. He is one of 14 coaches, as of 2013, to take multiple schools to the Final Four. The others are: Roy Williams, Lute Olson, Jack Gardner, Forddy Anderson, Larry Brown, Eddie Sutton, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Gene Bartow, Hugh Durham, Lou Henson, Bob Huggins, and Lee Rose.
McGuire was famous for using his New York City ties to enlist players to come south to play at UNC and USC, and was known as one of the top recruiters in the sport, frequently joking about how successful his New York City players, many of them Jewish and Catholic, were in Baptist-prevalent North Carolina and South Carolina.
Players that he coached or successfully recruited at the two schools include Lennie Rosenbluth, Larry Brown, Donnie Walsh, Doug Moe, Bobby Cunningham, Bobby Cremins, John Roche, Tom Owens, Tom Riker, Kevin Joyce, Brian Winters, Mike Dunleavy, Sr. and Alex English.
After having been the first coach to take two different schools to the finals of the NCAA basketball tournament, in 1971 he became the second coach – joining Eddie Hickey – to take three different schools to the NCAA tournament. McGuire was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, and retired in 1980.
He is the winningest coach in South Carolina history, and is still the third-winningest coach in North Carolina history. He died in Columbia, South Carolina three days after his 80th birthday.
Head coaching record
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007)|
- Goldstein, Richard Dean Smith, Champion of College Basketball and of Racial Equality, Dies at 83 The New York Times. February 25, 2015
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