A Hall of Fame Record
Former University of Houston basketball coach Guy V. Lewis deserves to be in the Basketball Hall of Fame. His record speaks for itself. Much of his outstanding record was compiled in 17 years when the NCAA tournament was limited to 22 to 25 teams. It was expanded to only 32 teams in 1975 and 40 in 1979 and just 48 in 1980. Lewis was just a year away from retiring when the tourney field was expanded to 64. Compare his record to the more than 50 college coaches already in the Hall. Compare his record to those who have followed him at the University of Houston and you will see just how difficult it was to do the magnificent job Lewis did for the Cougars.
FORMER UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON BASKETBALL COACH GUY V. LEWIS:
- has more career wins than 67 percent of the college coaches already in the Hall of Fame.
- took more teams to the NCAA Tournament than 91 percent of the college coaches already in the Hall of Fame.
- won more NCAA Tournament games than 89 percent of the college coaches already in the Hall of Fame.
- took more teams to the Final Four than 92 percent of the coaches already in the Hall of Fame.
- had 27 consecutive seasons without a losing record during his UH career. Only Adolph Rupp of Kentucky and John Wooden of UCLA ever posted as many consecutive seasons without a losing record. UH has had only eight winning seasons in the 15 years since Lewis retired.
- took 14 of his teams to the NCAA Tournament, a mark exceeded by only 11 other coaches in the history of college basketball and only six of those 11 had more NCAA Tournament wins than Lewis. UH has been to the NCAA Tournament just three times since Lewis' retirement.
- ranks 13th in all-time wins in the NCAA Tournament with 26. UH has not won an NCAA game since Lewis retired.
- had three 30-win seasons. The most wins in a season since Lewis retirement has been 25.
- had 14 20-win seasons to rank among the top 25 in that category. Almost half of the coaches ahead of Lewis coached in 120 of more games (almost five seasons more than Lewis).
- ranks 24th in all-time division one major college wins with 592 in 846 games. However, Lewis ranks 9th in wins per season coached with 19.7 wins per year.
- NEVER, in 30 seasons, coached a team that could not compete in the NCAA Tournament due to NCAA sanctions.
- coached two teams that finished number one in the nation in the final regular season Associated Press poll.
- Only John Wooden (12), Dean Smith (11), Mike Krzyzewski (9), Denny Crum (6) and Adolph Rupp (6) took more teams to the Final Four than Lewis (5). Each of Lewis five teams was beaten by the eventual NCAA champion.
- was voted Associated Press National Coach of the Year twice. Only John Wooden and Bob Knight have more Coach of the Year honors.
- is one of just nine coaches in the history of college basketball who coached two or more teams named to "College Basketball's 25 Greatest Teams" in the 1989 book by Billy Packer/Roland Lazenby and the editors of The Sporting News.
- was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
- changed basketball forever by creating and scheduling the Houston-UCLA "Game of the Century" in the Astrodome in 1968. The game drew an all-time record crowd (at that time) of 52,693 and was the first regular season college game to be televised nationally.
- had a major role in bringing the 1971 NCAA Final Four Tournament to the Astrodome, the first time the NCAA tourney was played in a large stadium. This set the stage for the tremendous expansion and popularity of the NCAA Final Four Tournament, which is almost always played in a large stadium now.
- did not have a "home court" for the first 12 years of his career, playing games on five different courts around Houston and rarely practicing on the same court where his teams played. And. because Houston had no large home arena, many of the games during the first 12 years of Lewis' career were played on the road.
- more than half of his teams were nationally-ranked during the seasons that they played.
Ted Nance, former UH sports information director: "The fact that Guy Lewis never sought any personal publicity is probably the reason that he s not in the Hall of Fame today. He was always so concerned with building interest in basketball in Houston and the Southwest. He never blew his own horn When his team lost, he took the blame. When they won, he gave credit to the players. He built a national powerhouse while playing on five different courts in Houston and none of his teams were ever sidelined by NCAA sanctions in 30 seasons. The fact that the four Houston head coaches who followed Lewis have not won a single NCAA tournament game since he retired, speaks volumes for the job Lewis did."
The "H" Assocation thanks Ted Nance for preparing this page.
Last Updated on 4/1/01
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