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Harry Statham

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Harry Statham, McKendree

Upon his retirement after a 52-year career at McKendree University, Harry Statham had coached more games (1,635) and won more games (1,122) than any four-yea r men’s or women’s coach in the history of college basketball.  He was the first coach in college basketball history to surpass the 1,000-win milestone.


In his tenure at McKendree, Statham has led the Bearcats to 12 American Midwest Conference Championships and post-season play 40 times in 46 seasons. Statham has coached McKendree to all 15 of its NAIA national men's basketball championship tournament berths, including five straight appearances from 1999-2004. Since his first season in 1966-67, Statham's teams averaged nearly 23 wins per season. His teams won 20 or more games 35 times.

Statham has received the American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year award eight different times, and he was a six-time recipient of the NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year.  He was selected as the 2001-02 NAIA Men’s Basketball National Coach of the Year.

Statham has been named the NAIA-Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year twelve times and in 1987 he was inducted into the IBCA-NAIA Hall of Fame. In 1998, Statham’s career accomplishments and achievements were recognized with his induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was inducted into the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Statham was recognized at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) national convention in St. Louis with the Guardians of the Game Leadership Award, an honor bestowed by his peers. That same summer, the United States Sports Academy presented him with its Distinguished Service Award.  Statham was named to the NAIA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

In 2006, the Lebanon City Council honored Statham by renaming a roadway on the McKendree campus, Harry Statham Way. The University's gymnasium, the Harry M. Statham Sports Center is also named for him.  In 2018, Small College Basketball created the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award in his honor.

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