Johnny Orr, the man credited with resurrecting a once dormant Iowa State Men’s Basketball program and energizing an entire fan base, passed away today. He was 86 years old.
Orr was one of the nation’s most successful basketball coaches during his 29 year head coaching career. He compiled a 466-346 career coaching mark and led 10 teams to NCAA Championship berths while at Massachusetts, Michigan, and Iowa State.
Orr inherited a down trodden Iowa State program that had produced losing seasons in five of the last six seasons prior to his arrival in 1980-81. He spent 14 years roaming the sidelines at Hilton Coliseum, making steady improvement and leading the Cyclones to a school record six NCAA Championship appearances and five 20 win seasons. Orr retired in 1994 as Iowa State Basketballs all-time winningest coach with a 218-200 record.