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Name That Sports Legend - November 15, 2013

Q: Born in Missouri, he became a college basketball legend in Kansas. Monday (November 18) marks the 128th anniversary of his birth in Jamesport, Mo. What’s his name? KUBB-1906-KHSThe 1905-06 Kansas University basketball team. The player on the floor is 'Phog' Allen. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society/


A: Forrest “Phog" Allen, the legendary KU coach and "Father of Basketball Coaching"


PhogAllen-JamesNaismith KHSDr. James Naismith and Forrest Clare 'Phog' Allen holding a basketball at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society/

Forrest Clare "Phog" Allen was born in Jamesport, Mo., on Nov. 18, 1885. Allen was an athlete, primarily a basketball and baseball player, but he made a real name for himself as a coach. He coached other sports but is best remembered as the head basketball coach at the University of Kansas, where he spent most of his career.


Of course, other schools can also lay claim to the man who became known as “the father of basketball coaching.” In addition to KU, Phog Allen led basketball teams at Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg). He compiled a career college basketball record of 746–264. During 39 seasons at KU, his teams won 24 conference titles and three national championships. 

PhogAllen-Fieldhouse Flickr_Franklin-B-ThompsonThe bronze statue of Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, is 8 feet 8 inches tall, and stands on the east side of Allen Fieldhouse. It was sculpted by Kwan Wu and dedicated on Dec. 13, 1997, the 90th anniversary of the first basketball game Allen coached at KU. (Flickr Photo by Franklin B. Thompson)Is that all? Not by a long shot. Phog Allen also…

*Helped create the NCAA Tournament.
*Coached in the 1952 Summer Olympics, leading the United States to the gold medal in Helsinki, Finland.
*Was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame with the inaugural class of 1959.
*Was honored in 1955 when KU’s home basketball arena, Allen Fieldhouse, was named in his honor.

Fun Factoid: He acquired the nickname "Phog" for the distinctive foghorn voice he had as a baseball umpire (before coming to KU).

Another Fun Factoid: Phog Allen coached former Kansas Senator Bob Dole at KU!

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