Bob Donewald
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Bob Donewald
Bob Donewald
Biographical details
Born (1942-05-29) May 29, 1942 (age 77)
Hanover, Indiana
Alma materHanover
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1978-1989Illinois State
1989-2000Western Michigan
Accomplishments and honors
MAC Coach of the Year (1992)
MVC Coach of the Year (1984)

Bob Donewald, Sr. (Born May 29, 1942) is a retired American college basketball coach. He was the first coach to lead Illinois State University to the NCAA post-season national tournament, and he did so for three consecutive seasons. His 1983 team gave Illinois State its first Missouri Valley Conference basketball championship and his 1984 team captured Illinois State's first Division I NCAA Tournament victory. He coached at South Bend St. Joseph's High School for 8 seasons, from 1965-66 - 1972-73.

Donewald was an assistant coach under Indiana University coach Bobby Knight,[1] for three seasons (1974-75 - 1977-78) and was a member of the Hoosiers staff in 1976 when Indiana went undefeated and won the national title.[2] In 1978, Donewald was hired as the new head coach of the Illinois State Redbirds, replacing Gene Smithson. In Donewald's second season, the Redbirds qualified for the NIT's post-season tournament, and then, in 1983, the Redbirds entered March Madness for the first time in their history by winning the Missouri Valley Conference post-season tournament.

Donewald's Redbirds also qualified for the NCAA tournament the next two seasons.[3] Donewald's success was parlayed into a student referendum to build a new arena to replace Horton Field House, in use from 1963-1988.[]Redbird Arena was approved, and was built mostly from student fees collected over the next twenty years. Donewald began to acquire a national reputation,[] and in 1982 turned down an opportunity to coach the Wisconsin Badgers.[4]

However, Donewald's ISU teams relied upon a slow moving game, similar to a four corners offense.[] With the introduction of the shot clock in the mid-1980s, Donewald's strategies and his teams began to suffer. In 1989, after failing to replicate his earlier successes, Donewald was fired by ISU.[5] He was immediately hired as coach of the Western Michigan University Broncos, where he coached until 2000. In the 1997-98 season--his 9th season as head coach at WMU--the Broncos qualified for the NCAA tournament, where they advanced to the second round before being eliminated. In 1992, Donewald was named Coach of the Year for the Mid-American Conference.[6] But Donewald was unable to get the Broncos back to the NCAA again, and was fired in 2000.[7]

In 1978, Donewald accepted the head coach position at Brown University but backed out minutes before a press conference[8] at the University to announce the hiring. Rumor is that Donewald told the Brown athletic director he would walk to the airport after backing out.

Donewald today lives with his wife of over 40 years in their Kalamazoo home, where he does consulting work for several college and pro teams. He also works occasionally as a color analyst.[9] His son, Bob Donewald, Jr., is currently the head coach of the Iowa Wolves.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Illinois State Redbirds (Independent) (1978-1981)
1978-79 Illinois State 20-10
1979-80 Illinois State 20-9 NIT Second round
1980-81 Illinois State 16-11
Illinois State Redbirds (Missouri Valley Conference) (1982-1989)
1981-82 Illinois State 17-12 9-7 5th
1982-83 Illinois State 24-7 13-5 2nd NCAA First Round
1983-84 Illinois State 23-8 13-3 T-1st NCAA Second Round
1984-85 Illinois State 22-8 11-5 T-2nd NCAA Second Round
1985-86 Illinois State 15-14 9-7 4th
1986-87 Illinois State 19-13 7-7 4th NIT Quarterfinals
1987-88 Illinois State 18-13 9-5 3rd NIT First round
1988-89 Illinois State 13-17 6-8 T-5th
Illinois State Redbirds: 207-122 (.629) 77-47 (.621)
Western Michigan Broncos (Mid-American Conference) (1989-2000)
1989-90 Western Michigan 9-18 3-13 9th
1990-91 Western Michigan 5-22 2-14 9th
1991-92 Western Michigan 21-9 11-5 T-2nd NIT first round
1992-93 Western Michigan 17-12 12-6 3rd
1993-94 Western Michigan 14-14 7-11 8th
1994-95 Western Michigan 14-13 9-9 7th
1995-96 Western Michigan 16-11 13-5 2nd
1996-97 Western Michigan 14-14 9-9 T-5th
1997-98 Western Michigan 21-8 14-4 T-1st (West) NCAA round of 32
1998-99 Western Michigan 11-15 6-12 4th (West)
1999-00 Western Michigan 10-18 6-12 5th (West)
Western Michigan: 152-154 (.497) 92-100 (.479)
Total: 359-276 (.565)

      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


  1. ^ Knight: my story - Bobby Knight, Bob Hammel - Google Books. 2002-03-20. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Bob Donewald Joins UAB Staff As Assistant Coach - UABSPORTS.COM - UAB Official Athletic Site". 2007-08-21. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Anderson Pullout Shocks UW Officials". Milwaukee Sentinel. April 14, 1982. pp. 1, 9.
  5. ^ HighBeam
  6. ^ "MAC Basketball Awards - MAC Basketball Coach of the Year Award Winners". Retrieved .
  7. ^ HighBeam
  8. ^
  9. ^ Jim Barnhart (2006-08-29). "Barnstorming: Passing of McLeese brings back memories". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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