Phil Woolpert
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Phil Woolpert
Phil Woolpert
Biographical details
Born(1915-12-15)December 15, 1915
Danville, Kentucky
DiedMay 5, 1987(1987-05-05) (aged 71)
Sequim, Washington
Alma materLoyola University (CA), 1940
Los Angeles Junior College
Playing career
1936-1940Loyola (CA)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1946-1950St. Ignatius Prep
1950-1959San Francisco
1961-1962San Francisco Saints
1962-1969San Diego
1950-1959San Francisco
1962-1969San Diego
Head coaching record
Overall243-168 (college)
63-29 (high school)
Tournaments13-2 (NCAA / NCAA University Division)
Accomplishments and honors
2 NCAA Tournament (1955, 1956)
4 CBA/WCAC regular season (1955-1958)
UPI Coach of the Year (1955, 1956)
4× WCAC Coach of the Year (1955-1958)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1992 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Philipp D. Woolpert (December 15, 1915 - May 5, 1987) was an American basketball coach, best known as the head coach of the University of San Francisco Dons in the 1950s. He led them to consecutive national championships in 1955

Born in Danville, Kentucky, Woolpert was raised in Los Angeles, graduating from Manual Arts High School in 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression. L.A. Junior College and Loyola University, where he played basketball for three years, was initiated into the Alpha Delta Gamma fraternity, and graduated in 1940 with a degree in

In 1946, Woolpert was hired as basketball coach for St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where he posted a 63-29 (.685) record in his four years as coach. Upon Pete Newell's departure for Michigan State University, the University of San Francisco hired Woolpert to succeed Newell. He assumed both the posts of men's basketball coach and athletic director.

During his tenure at USF, Woolpert posted a 153-78 (.662) record, including a 60-game win streak that at the time was the longest in college basketball, surpassed later by John Wooden's 88 straight wins at UCLA. Woolpert's teams, anchored by Bill Russell, K. C. Jones, Gene Brown, and Mike Farmer, were known for their defense and held opponents below 60 points on 47 different occasions. USF won the NCAA Tournament in 1955 and 1956, and finished third in 1957. At the time the youngest college basketball coach to win a national championship, Woolpert also won Coach of the Year honors in 1955 and 1956.

After briefly coaching the San Francisco Saints of the American Basketball League, Woolpert returned to the college ranks in 1962, this time with the University of San Diego.[1] While at USD, Woolpert posted a record and served as both men's basketball coach and athletic director.

Woolpert retired from coaching in 1969, and later settled down on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and became a school bus driver He died of lung cancer at age 71 at his home

Woolpert's son Paul is the assistant coach of the D-League Los Angeles D-fenders.[6]

Head coaching record


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
San Francisco Dons (Independent) (1950-1952)
1950-51 San Francisco 9-17
1951-52 San Francisco 11-13
San Francisco Dons (California Basketball Association / West Coast Athletic Conference) (1952-1959)
1952-53 San Francisco 10-11 6-2 2nd
1953-54 San Francisco 14-7 8-4 2nd
1954-55 San Francisco 28-1 12-0 1st NCAA Champion
1955-56 San Francisco 29-0 14-0 1st NCAA Champion
1956-57 San Francisco 21-7 12-2 1st NCAA Third Place
1957-58 San Francisco 25-2 12-0 1st NCAA Sweet 16
1958-59 San Francisco 6-20 3-9 6th
San Francisco: 153-78 (.662) 67-17 (.785)
San Diego Toreros (Independent) (1962-1969)
1962-63 San Diego 6-19
1963-64 San Diego 13-13
1964-65 San Diego 15-11
1965-66 San Diego 17-11
1966-67 San Diego 14-11
1967-68 San Diego 15-10
1968-69 San Diego 10-15
San Diego: 90-90 (.500)
Total: 243-168 (.591)

      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. ^ a b c Johnson, William (April 22, 1968). "Triumph in obscurity". Sports Illustrated. p. 68.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Roy S. (November 26, 1981). "Phil Woolpert still shapes the lives of the young". New York Times. p. D15.
  3. ^ a b Cour, Jim (December 7, 1982). "The tail should never wag the dog". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 21.
  4. ^ "Phil Woolpert is cancer victim at 71; coached USF to pair of NCAA titles". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. May 7, 1987. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "Miscellany: Phil Woolpert". Spokane Chronicle. May 6, 1987. p. D3.
  6. ^

External links

  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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