Johnny Orr (basketball, born 1927)
|This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2013)|
Orr from 1975 Michiganensian
June 10, 1927|
uncertain, see article for details
December 30, 2013 (aged 86)|
Des Moines, Iowa
St. Louis Bombers
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1974)
National Coach of the Year (1976)
100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament (2007)
John Michael "Johnny" Orr (June 10, 1927 – December 30, 2013) was an American basketball player and coach, best known as the head coach of men's basketball at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan, and at Iowa State University.
Life as a player
Orr was born in Taylorville, Illinois or Yale, Kansas and grew up in Taylorville during the Great Depression. Orr attended Taylorville High School under coach Dolph Stanley and in his senior year (1944) led the Tornadoes to a state championship and a 45–0 record, the first team to ever finish a season undefeated in the Illinois High School Association's history. In 2007, Orr was voted one of the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament," recognizing his superior performance in his appearance in the tournament. After high school Orr went to the University of Illinois and was the youngest freshman to compete in three sports. After joining the United States Navy for the end of World War II, Orr returned to the college game at Beloit College. This reunited him with his high school coach Dolph Stanley, who had come to Beloit College as athletic director, head basketball and football coach.
Orr was initially drafted in 1948 BAA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers of the Basketball Association of America, the precursor to the NBA. Orr did not play for the Lakers, and was again drafted the next year in the 2nd round by the St. Louis Bombers. In 1950, Orr played 21 games for the Bombers before moving to the Waterloo Hawks for 13 more games.
Early coaching career
University of Massachusetts
University of Michigan
Shortly afterward, Orr moved to the University of Michigan as an assistant under Dave Strack, and was named head coach in 1969. His 1973–74 team made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament and Orr was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. In 1976, Michigan was the NCAA tournament runner-up (to the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers) and Orr was named National Coach of the Year. Orr remains the winningest coach in Michigan history with 209 wins and 113 losses.
Iowa State University
Orr joined the Iowa State Cyclones in 1980. The move came about when the Iowa State Athletic Director called him to inquire about Orr's assistant, Bill Frieder. When Orr learned how much Iowa State was willing to pay Frieder, Orr negotiated the job for himself (Frieder then succeeded Orr at Michigan). In Orr's fifth season in Ames, he led the Cyclones to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 40 years. The following season, Orr's Cyclones reached the Sweet Sixteen of the 1986 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament with a second round victory over the number five ranked team in the nation, Michigan. Orr claims this was the greatest victory of his career. Orr led Iowa State to four more NCAA tournament berths before retiring from Iowa State in 1994. He remains the winningest coach in Iowa State history with 218 wins and 200 losses.
Head coaching record
- The Associated Press. "Former Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr dies". KansasCity.com. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Brown, Rick (December 31, 2013). "Former Iowa State, Michigan coach Johnny Orr dies at 86". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- IHSA Records Book
- IHSA – Legends of Boys Basketball
- Brown, Rick (December 31, 2013). "Former Iowa State, Michigan coach Johnny Orr dies at 86". USA Today. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- Hansen, Marc (31 December 2013). "Hansen: Johnny Orr was more than a winning basketball coach". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- "Legendary Iowa State coach Johnny Orr dies". KETV. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- . Des Moines Register http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140102/SPORTS020604/301020095/Large-crowd-gathers-at-Orr-visitation-cause-of-death-revealed?Sports&nclick_check=1. Missing or empty
- player bio at databaseBasketball.com
- Where's Coach Now?
- Here's Johnny Orr. ISBN 0-8138-1291-7
- LEGEND LOST: Coach Johnny Orr Dies