After more than 50 years dedicated to the game of basketball at Philadelphia University – 44 of which as the men’s basketball head coach – Herb Magee was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Aug. 12 during a ceremony in Springfield, Mass.
Magee, the all-time, all-division NCAA wins leader with 922 career wins, was inducted along with nine others in the Class of 2011, including former NBA players Dennis Rodman and Chris Mullin, and coaches Tex Winter and Tara VanDerveer. Videos of Magee’s enshrinement and a tribute to the coach are both available on nba.com. Click here to watch the enshrinement, and click here to watch the tribute video.
“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.
“It’s just incredible,” Coach Herb Magee said of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony experience in a Philadelphia Inquirer article entitled “As a Hall of Famer, Magee adds to Philly’s lore,” on Friday, August 12. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
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.
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, Evan Turner and Jameer Nelson are among those who have sought the help of the “shot doc” to improve their jump shots.
Magee is also a highly respected coaching mentor, and many of his former assistants have gone on to top coaching jobs, including Pat Chambers at Penn State 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. A two-time All-American 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.