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Monday
Feb072011

Basketball Hall Of Fame Announces Winners Of 2011 Morgan Wootten Award

Award Recognizes excellence in high school coaching

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. - FEBRUARY 7, 2011 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced the 2011 winners of the Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball. The annual awards, one for boys basketball and one for girls basketball, is named after Morgan Wootten, one of two coaches enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame that exclusively coached high school basketball.

The 2011 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for boys’ basketball is Bob Hurley. Coach Hurley has coached basketball at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, New Jersey since 1972 building a local program into a national powerhouse in a community where hard times are a constant reminder of a world that is both uncertain and unsympathetic. Hurley has been more than a coach to his players; he has been a teacher, a father figure, advisor, mentor, and friend. The victories and championships are there to count, but the true measure of the man is the scores of young lives he has permanently touched. Coach Hurley was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010 and has just recently earned his 1,000 career victory at St. Anthony.

The 2011 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for girls’ basketball is Gene Klinge of Iowa. Coach Klinge has been on the sidelines coaching for nearly 50 years including the transition from six-person basketball to five-person basketball in the state of Iowa. His career began in 1962, and for the next 41 years he coached at West Central of Maynard where he would win 817 games before leaving the school in 2003. His next stop and where he still currently coaches is Waukon High School. In his first year at Waukon, he led the team to a 28-0 record and the state championship. Entering this season, Coach Klinge has won 956 total games and is currently the all-time wins leader in the girls basketball crazy state of Iowa.

“The selection of these two legendary high school coaches for this year’s Morgan Wootten Award continues the Hall of Fame’s goal of honoring excellence in the sport of basketball at all levels,” said John. L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “These coaches have touched the lives of thousands of basketball players and we are proud to recognize their lifetime achievement at the high school level.”

“Bob Hurley and Gene Klinge represent the very finest in high school basketball. As outstanding teachers, coaches and role models, they have touched the lives of thousands of young people. I am extremely pleased that I will able to present the Lifetime Achievement Awards to these fine coaches at this year’s McDonald’s All-American Games,” said Hall of Fame Class of 2000 member Morgan Wootten.

The Morgan Wootten Award winners were selected by a nationally based committee comprised of Hall of Famers, national high school media members, tournament directors and others that have significantly impacted the game. The awards will be presented by Morgan Wootten at the 2011 McDonald’s  All-American Game events this March in Chicago, Illinois.

Previous award boys’ basketball award winners have included Jack Curran (Archbishop Molloy, NY), Joe Gallagher (St. John’s College, DC), Ralph Tasker (Hobbs High School, NM) and Robert Hughes (Fort Worth Dunbar, TX. Previous winners of the girls’ basketball award have included Leta Andrews (Granbury High School, TX), Jim Smiddy (Bradley Central, TN), Dorothy Gaters (Chicago Marshall, IL) and Rick Insell (Shelbyville, TN).

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.