Henry Iba
Biographical details
Born(1904-08-06)August 6, 1904
Easton, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJanuary 15, 1993(1993-01-15) (aged 88)
Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.
Playing career
1923–1927Westminster (MO)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1927–1929Classen HS (OK)
1929–1933Northwest Missouri State
1934–1970Oklahoma A&M / State
1934–1941Oklahoma A&M / State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1935–1970Oklahoma A&M
Head coaching record
Overall751–340 (college basketball)
90–41 (college baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
2 NCAA tournament (1945, 1946)
4 NCAA Regional—Final Four (1945, 1946, 1949, 1951)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1969 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Medal record
Head coach for  United States
men's national basketball team
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1964 Tokyo Men's Basketball
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City Men's Basketball
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich Men's Basketball

Henry Payne “Hank” Iba (/ˈbə/; August 6, 1904 – January 15, 1993) was an American basketball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head basketball coach at Northwest Missouri State Teacher's College, now known as Northwest Missouri State University, from 1929 to 1933; the University of Colorado Boulder from 1933 to 1934; and the Oklahoma State University–Stillwater, known as Oklahoma A&M prior to 1957, from 1934 to 1970, compiling a career college basketball coaching record of 751–340. He led Oklahoma A&M to consecutive NCAA basketball tournament titles, in 1945 and 1946.

Iba was also the athletic director at Oklahoma A&M / Oklahoma State from 1935 to 1970 and the school's head baseball coach from 1934 to 1941, tallying a mark of 90–41. As head coach of the United States men's national basketball team, he led the U.S. to the gold medals at the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics. Iba was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Early life

Iba was born and raised in Easton, Missouri. He played college basketball at Westminster College, where he became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. The basketball court at Westminster is now named in his honor.


After coaching stints at Maryville Teachers' College (now Northwest Missouri State University) and the University of Colorado, Iba came to Oklahoma A&M College in 1934. He stayed at Oklahoma A&M, renamed Oklahoma State University in 1957, for 36 years until his retirement after the 1969–70 season. For most of his tenure at A&M/OSU, he doubled as athletic director. Additionally, Iba coached OSU's baseball team from 1934 to 1941.

Iba is thought to be one of the toughest coaches in NCAA history. He was a very methodical coach who expected things to be done perfectly. His teams were a reflection of his personality. They were methodical, ball-controlling units that featured weaving patterns and low scoring games. Iba's "swinging gate" defense (a man-to-man with team flow) was applauded by many, and is still effective in today's game. He was known as "the Iron Duke of Defense."

Iba's Aggies became the first to win consecutive NCAA titles (1945 and 1946). His 1945–46 NCAA champions were led by Bob Kurland, the game's first seven-foot player. They beat NYU in the 1945 finals and North Carolina in the 1946 finals. He was voted coach of the year in both seasons. His 1945 champions defeated National Invitation Tournament champion, DePaul, and 6'10" center George Mikan in a classic Red Cross Benefit game.

Inside Gallagher-Iba Arena January 22, 2005.

A&M/State teams won 14 Missouri Valley titles and one Big Eight title, and won 655 games in 36 seasons.

Iba's tenure crested in 1958. That year, the Cowboys joined (or rejoined, depending on the source) the Big Eight and promptly won the conference title, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight. However, after that season, his Cowboys only finished higher than fourth two more times in Big Eight play, one of which was another Elite Eight appearance in 1965.

All told, in 40 years of coaching, he won 767 games—the second-most in college basketball history at the time of his retirement. As OSU's athletic director, he built a program that won 19 national championships in 5 sports (basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf, cross-country) over the years. After his retirement, "Mr. Iba" (as he is still called at OSU) frequently showed up at practices, often giving advice to young players.

In 1987, OSU's home arena, Gallagher Hall, was renamed Gallagher-Iba Arena in Iba's honor. A seat in the southeast concourse level of the arena is known as "Mr. Iba's Seat," and it is maintained without a fan having sat in it.

Olympic coaching

Iba coached the United States Olympic basketball team in 1964, 1968 and 1972. He is the first coach in U.S. Olympic basketball history to coach two gold medal-winning teams (1964 in 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics and 1968 in 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics). Coach Mike Krzyzewski became the second in 2012. At his third Olympics in charge in 1972, Iba led his team to another gold medal game, which resulted in a highly controversial 50–51 loss to the Soviet Union, breaking Team USA's 63-game winning streak in Olympic competition.

Honors and awards

Iba was elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Missouri Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation All-Time Hall of Fame for basketball, The Westminster College (MO) Sports Hall of Fame, National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (in 2006), FIBA Hall of Fame (in 2007) and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (in 1969) at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Iba was indirectly responsible for a $165 million donation to the Oklahoma State University athletic program. In 1951, T. Boone Pickens, a graduate of OSU with a degree in petroleum geology, was looking for a job and asked Iba for help. Iba set the young graduate up with two interviews for high-school basketball coaching jobs and although Pickens didn't end up becoming a coach, the favor Iba did for him was the impetus behind his decision 50 years later to make a $165 million donation to Oklahoma State University's athletic program.[1]

Iba was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1965.


Iba died on January 15, 1993, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.


Coaching tree

Iba is known for his coaching tree, the group of prominent coaches who either coached or played for Iba himself, or are linked to Iba by playing for one of his pupils. Coaches in this tree typically use a physical man-to-man defense and an offense predicated on ball movement and passing.

Coach Iba connection Years as Head Coach Notes
Larry Brown Played for 1964 U.S. Olympic team Numerous college and pro teams, 1972–present 1988 NCAA title; 2004 NBA title; coached 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
Doug Collins Played for 1972 U.S. Olympic team Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, 1986–2013
Jack Hartman Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1943–47; assistant coach at Oklahoma A&M, 1954 Southern Illinois, Kansas State, 1962–86 NABC National Coach of the Year, 1981
Don Haskins Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1949–52; assistant coach on 1972 U.S. Olympic Team Texas Western/UTEP, 1961–1999 1966 NCAA title
Moe Iba Played for Oklahoma State, 1958–62; assistant to Don Haskins at UTEP, 1962–66 Memphis State, Nebraska, Texas Christian, 1966–94 Son of Henry Iba
Bob Knight Assistant coach on 1972 U.S. Olympic Team Army, Indiana, Texas Tech, 1965–2008 1976, '81, and '87 NCAA titles. Coached 1984 U.S. Olympic team.
Bud Millikan Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1939–42 Maryland, 1950–67
Doyle Parrack Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1943–46 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1950–62
Wilbur "Sparky" Stalcup Played for Iba at Northwest Missouri, 1929–33 Northwest Missouri, Missouri, 1933–62
Eddie Sutton Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1955–58; assistant coach at Oklahoma State, 1958–59 Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, San Francisco, 1969–2008 1978 and 1986 AP National Coach of the Year

Henry Iba Award

The Henry Iba Award was established in 1959 to recognize the best college basketball coach of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Five nominees are presented and the individual with the most votes receives the award which is presented in conjunction with the Final Four. The award is presented at the Oscar Robertson Trophy breakfast the Friday before the Final Four.

Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete of the Year

In 1994, the Rotary Club of Tulsa established the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete of the Year Award to honor two athletes, one male and one female, which have exhibited or demonstrated excellence in their sport and in life.[2] In 1997, the Rotary Club of Tulsa established the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete of the Year Award with additional acknowledgement by recognized by the Chairman's Award.[3] Former New York Knicks player John Starks was the male winner of the award in 1997.[4]


In 2017, John Savage portrayed Iba in the Russian sport drama Going Vertical, about the 1972 Olympic final.

Head coaching record

College basketball

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1930–1933)
1929–30 Northwest Missouri State 31–0
1930–31 Northwest Missouri State 31–6
1931–32 Northwest Missouri State 20–2 NAAU Runner-up
1932–33 Northwest Missouri State 12–7
Northwest Missouri State: 93–15 (.861)
Colorado Silver and Gold (Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference) (1933–1934)
1933–34 Colorado 9–8 7–7
Colorado: 9–8 (.529)
Oklahoma A&M/State Cowboys (Missouri Valley Conference) (1934–1957)
1934–35 Oklahoma A&M 9–9 5–7 5th
1935–36 Oklahoma A&M 16–8 9–4 T–1st
1936–37 Oklahoma A&M 19–3 11–1 1st
1937–38 Oklahoma A&M 25–3 13–1 1st
1938–39 Oklahoma A&M 19–8 11–3 1st
1939–40 Oklahoma A&M 26–3 12–0 1st NIT Final Four
1940–41 Oklahoma A&M 18–7 8–4 2nd
1941–42 Oklahoma A&M 20–6 9–1 T–1st
1942–43 Oklahoma A&M 14–10 7–3 T–2nd
1943–44 Oklahoma A&M 27–6 1st* NIT Final Four
1944–45 Oklahoma A&M 27–4 1st* NCAA Champion
1945–46 Oklahoma A&M 31–2 12–0 1st NCAA Champion
1946–47 Oklahoma A&M 24–8 8–4 T–2nd
1947–48 Oklahoma A&M 27–4 10–0 T–1st
1948–49 Oklahoma A&M 23–5 9–1 1st NCAA Runner-up
1949–50 Oklahoma A&M 18–9 7–5 3rd
1950–51 Oklahoma A&M 29–6 12–2 1st NCAA Fourth Place
1951–52 Oklahoma A&M 19–8 9–3 2nd
1952–53 Oklahoma A&M 23–7 8–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1953–54 Oklahoma A&M 24–5 9–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1954–55 Oklahoma A&M 12–13 5–5 3rd
1955–56 Oklahoma A&M 18–9 8–4 2nd NIT First Round
1956–57 Oklahoma A&M 17–9 8–6 3rd
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big Eight Conference) (1957–1970)
1957–58 Oklahoma State 21–8 NCAA University Division Elite Eight
1958–59 Oklahoma State 11–14 5–9 5th
1959–60 Oklahoma State 10–15 4–10 7th
1960–61 Oklahoma State 14–11 8–6 3rd
1961–62 Oklahoma State 14–11 7–7 4th
1962–63 Oklahoma State 16–9 7–7 5th
1963–64 Oklahoma State 15–10 7–7 4th
1964–65 Oklahoma State 20–7 12–2 1st NCAA University Division Elite Eight
1965–66 Oklahoma State 4–21 2–12 7th
1966–67 Oklahoma State 7–18 2–12 7th
1967–68 Oklahoma State 10–16 3–11 7th
1968–69 Oklahoma State 12–13 5–9 6th
1969–70 Oklahoma State 14–12 5–9 7th
Oklahoma State: 653–317 (.673) 257–152 (.628)
Total: 755–340 (.689)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


College baseball

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Oklahoma A&M Cowboys (Missouri Valley Conference) (1934–1941)
1934 Oklahoma A&M 11–4
1935 Oklahoma A&M 8–8
1936 Oklahoma A&M 13–7
1937 Oklahoma A&M 13–4
1938 Oklahoma A&M 13–4
1939 Oklahoma A&M 11–7
1940 Oklahoma A&M 13–5
1941 Oklahoma A&M 8–2
Oklahoma A&M: 90–41 (.687)
Total: 90–41 (.687)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Editor. (May 2000). A closer look. Awards honor altruistic athletes. The Rotarian. Rotary International. Vol. 176, No. 5. 64 pages. ISSN 0035-838X.
  3. ^ Editor. (2016). Chairman’s Award. Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete of the Year. Rotary Club of Tulsa. Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  4. ^ Tramel, Jimmie. "Iba Award Goes to Starks". Tulsa World. Tulsa World. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 22, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)