Phillip D. "Phil" Woolpert

Talk to any coach about the difficulty of winning consecutive national championships and the words “nearly impossible” are sure to come up. Not for Phil Woolpert. The second coach in NCAA history to win back-to-back national championships, Woolpert led the University of San Francisco, with Hall of Famers Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, to the 1955 and 1956 crown. In 1955, Woolpert, then 40, became the youngest coach in history to win the NCAA national championship. As a measure of consistent coaching, Woolpert’s 1957 San Francisco team finished third in the NCAA Tournament. Under Woolpert, USF won 60 straight games, an NCAA record at that time. After his success with the Dons, Woolpert coached the professional San Francisco Saints of the American Basketball League and then at the University of San Diego. When Woolpert retired, he gave up the glitter of big-time basketball to drive a school bus in Sequim, Washington.