KU Basketball: Ranking Jayhawks Eight Head Coaches All-Time

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KU Basketball Head Coach Rankings Number One: Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen

There is little that isn’t amazing about the career of Phog Allen. He coached while still a student at Kansas. He coached two schools at a time – Kansas and Baker University, then Kansas and Haskell – for a time.

He coached basketball and football at Warrensburg college for years (basketball – seven years, football – six). He even coached the KU football team for a season, going 5-2-1 in 1920.

He went 590-219 in his career, good for a winning percentage of 72.9. He won three national championships, including two Helms Championships in 1922 and 1923, and the NCAA National Championship in 1952.

Allen founded the National Association of Basketball Coaches, helped basketball become an Olympic sport and helped create the NCAA Tournament.

In addition, he appeared in three Final Fours and won 24 conference championships in his illustrious career. His 719 career wins rank him 17th all-time, and his coaching tree includes legends Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith, as well as Ralph Miller.

He also had the distinction of cutting John McClendon three times because segregated teams were not accepted in the 1930s when McClendon attended Kansas.

Allen was at the helm when Kansas desegregated the basketball team in 1951. LaVerne Squires was the first African American to play at Kansas, and Maurice King was the first black starter. He played form 1954 through 1957.

Few coaches in the history of the game have been as influential as Phog Allen, or had as must impact on the game.

It is only fitting that the building bearing his name, Allen Fieldhouse, is still considered one of the greatest college atmospheres in the game today.

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