Emmett B. "Branch" McCracken

Enshrined 1960
Monrovia, IN
June 9, 1908 - June 4, 1970


College ballplayer turned coach "Big Bear" Branch McCracken earned his nickname because of his 6-foot-4 size and tendency to scowl. A ferocious and complete competitor at Indiana University, McCracken played center, forward, and guard, leading the Hoosiers in scoring for three years. Playing under Hall of Fame coach Everett Dean, McCracken was named Big Ten Conference MVP in 1928. Upon enshrinement in 1960, he was one of first eight players to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. McCracken enjoyed an equally successful coaching career, compiling a 450-231 record in 32 seasons at Indiana and Ball State. He guided Indiana, known as the "Hurrying Hoosiers," to NCAA Championships in 1940 and 1953, feats that earned him Coach of the Year honors both seasons. McCracken was a workaholic and his teams reflected his hard work and spirited play.

Career Highlights

Led Indiana in scoring for three straight years, 1928-30
All-Big Ten First Team, 1928-30
Set the Big Ten record for points (147) as a senior, 1930
Helms Foundation All-America, 1930
Coach of the Year, 1940, 1953