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Johnny Orr - The Coach With The Most Wins in Wolverine Basketball History

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:17pm

[img_assist|nid=253163|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=110]

When [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/34296|Johnny Orr] resigned as the University of Michigan's head basketball coach in [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19800325-johnny_orr_leaves_michigan|1980], his teams had [http://oldnews.aadl.org/node/252989|compiled] the most wins, 209, and the most losses, 113, in the school's history. Orr, who [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/sports/ncaabasketball/johnny-orr-a-top-basketball-coach-at-two-colleges-dies-at-86.html?ref=obituaries|died Dec. 31 at 86], was the longest tenured coach at UM, [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19680804-orr_thinks|replacing Dave Strack] in 1968 after a year as [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19680725-orr_named|Strack's assistant.] Orr, who had been a head coach at the University of Massachusetts, was a colorful and outspoken personality with a knack for [http://oldnews.aadl.org/%20aa_news_19720227-fans_love|motivating his players] and winning the support of fans. In 1976 he took the Wolverines to the N.C.A.A. [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19760328-1-perfect_team|final] against Big 10 rival Indiana University, [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19760331-welcome_home_wolverines|losing to the Bobby Knight] coached Hoosiers 86-68.

In 1980, Orr surprised the basketball community by leaving his position at Michigan for the head coaching job at the less-regarded [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19800326-ames_is_just_wild|Iowa State University.] He said he took the job because Iowa State offered a [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19800325-johnny_orr_strikes|substantial salary increase], $45,000 from $33,665 at Michigan, and more extra earning opportunities. Over the next 15 years, he took the Iowa State Cyclones to the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/node/253006|N.C.A.A. tournament] six times and set Iowa State records for wins and losses, 218-200.

In 1980 Orr was [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19800327_inside_dope_frieder|replaced] at Michigan by his assistant, [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/34276|Bill Frieder,] who would [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19890404-um-remembers_frieder_pgB6|leave the University of Michigan in 1989] for a job at Arizona State University. His team, under his former assistant [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/34285|Steve Fisher,] would win the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19890404-victors_valiant_pgB1|1989 N.C.A.A. national championship] game against Seton Hall. Orr continued to have [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19870506-here_coach_johnny|good relations with Michigan], returning to Crisler Arena for the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19891202-orr_makes_1st_trip|first time as Cyclones coach] in 1989. Orr retired from coaching in 1994 and continued to make his home in Iowa.

Comments

Reading the 1980 salaries makes me wonder how the current salaries compare, adjusted for inflation.