Tuesday
Jul072009

Phillip D. "Phil" Woolpert

Enshrined 1992
Danville, KY
December 19, 1915 - May 5, 1987

Biography

Talk to any coach about the difficulty of consecutive wins and you'll hear the words "nearly impossible." Not for Phil Woolpert. One of only six coaches 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 NCAA history to win the title. 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 until UCLA ran off an 88-game string. After his success with the Dons, Woolpert coached the professional San Francisco Saints of the ABL and then 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.

Career Highlights

NCAA Championship with San Francisco,1955,1956
Coach of the Year, 1955, 1956
NCAA third place finish with San Francisco, 1957
Pacific Coach of the Year, 1957, 1958