Stewart from The Savitar, 1969
January 20, 1935|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2007
Norman Eugene "Norm" Stewart (born January 20, 1935) is a retired American college basketball coach. He coached at the University of Northern Iowa (then known as State College of Iowa) from 1961 to 1967, but is best known for his career with the University of Missouri from 1967 until 1999. He retired with an overall coaching record of 731-375 in 38 seasons. The court at Mizzou Arena (and previously at the Hearnes Center) is named in his honor.
Stewart was born in Shelby County, Missouri. He grew up the son of a gas station owner around the small farming community of Shelbyville, and graduated from high school there in 1952. After high school Stewart enrolled at the University of Missouri, becoming a standout in both basketball and baseball for the Tigers. Stewart was a two-time team captain, and all-Big Seven selection in basketball. His 24.1 scoring average per-game in 1956 ranks 4th in school history and earned him a spot on the 1956 Helms Foundation All-American team. It was while at MU he met the love of his life, Virginia (Zimmerley) Stewart. Following graduation from Mizzou, Stewart was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA in 1956, playing one season at forward. He also signed a contract with Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles, but never played at the big-league level.
Following his brief career as a professional athlete, Norm Stewart returned to the University of Missouri in 1957 to earn his master's degree. He also served as an assistant basketball coach under Sparky Stalcup and an assistant baseball coach under Hi Simmons. In 1961 Stewart and his family made the move to Cedar Falls, Iowa as Norm took over as head basketball coach at the State College Of Iowa (now University of Northern Iowa). In six seasons Stewarts' Panthers compiled a record of 97 wins, 42 losses, and two conference championships. On March 10, 1967, Stewart was named head basketball coach at his alma mater. In 32 seasons as Missouri head coach, Stewart had a 634–333 overall record. Stewart's Missouri teams also won 8 Big Eight Conference regular-season championships, 6 Big Eight Tournament titles, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances (including two Elite Eight appearances), 5 NIT post-season tournament appearances, and 1 CCA post-season tournament appearance. Stewart also was UPI Coach of the Year (1982) and Associated Press Coach of the Year (1994).
Head coaching record
NCAA penalties and probation
In 1990, the NCAA placed Missouri's basketball program on probation for two years and banned the team from that season's post-season tournaments for major violations of rules regarding recruiting, benefits for athletes and irregularities in academics that occurred under Stewart from 1985 through 1989. The NCAA also imposed limits on the Tigers' recruiting practices and the number of scholarships that could be offered in the 1991-92 and 1992-93 academic years. Two of Stewart's assistant coaches, Rich Daly and Bob Sunvold, were forced to resign over the scandal, but Stewart was able to remain as Missouri's coach. Stewart's legal attorney was future Missouri interim president Steve Owens.
Health issues and retirement
In 1989, Stewart was diagnosed with colon cancer, missing the final 14 games of the 1988-89 season. He underwent invasive surgery and chemotherapy and was able to return to coaching the following season. Stewart's assistant, Rich Daly, took over as interim coach for the rest of the season, but Missouri credits the entire season to Stewart.
The 1990s were a time of both highs and lows for Mizzou basketball, with the highlight being 1994 when the Tigers went a perfect 14-0 in conference play. For that special season, Norm Stewart was named College Coach Of The Year by the Associated Press and five other leading organizations. Following another winning 1998-99 season, the Stewart Era came to an end as he announced his retirement on April 1, 1999. At his retirement, he'd had a hand in over 60 percent of Missouri's wins.
Although retired from coaching, Stormin' Norman continues to storm through life with a busy itinerary of meetings, speaking engagements, travel, and color commentary on Mizzou basketball broadcasts. Stewart is also a member of the council of Coaches Vs. Cancer, a program he founded following his own cancer battle. After collapsing at a Dallas, Texas restaurant in May 2007, Stewart had a pacemaker installed. In late July 2008 Stewart underwent successful open-heart surgery, an aortic valve replacement, at a Columbia, Missouri hospital.
Halls Of Fame
Norm Stewart's achievements on the basketball court and baseball diamond were recognized in 1990 as he led the inaugural class of the MU Athletics Hall Of Fame. He was again given special recognition by the Hall for his coaching career in February 2008. In 2014 Stewart was inducted into the St.Louis Sports Hall of Fame. His highest honor came in November, 2007 as Stewart was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
- "Norm Stewart". Missouri Tigers. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "Norm Stewart". University of Missouri Columbia. October 21, 1996. Archived from the original on July 26, 1997. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "Norm Stewart". Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "North Central Conference men's basketball record book" (PDF). North Central Conference. 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "Missouri Gets Basketball Probation". New York Times. 1990-11-09. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- ALAN SCHER ZAGIER/The Associated Press (2011-01-21). "Interim UM System president counts on deep Missouri ties". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
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