Herb Magee Named 2023 SCB Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Kansas City, MO – Small College Basketball is extremely excited to announce Herb Magee as the recipient of the 2023 SCB Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the fifth year that the Small College Basketball has awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Jim Poteet, the Chair of the SCB Alumni Association had this to say about this year’s award recipient:
“Herb Magee is a small college basketball icon both as a player and a coach,” mentioned Poteet. “His impact on one college (through several name changes) may never be repeated. It is with great joy the Alumni Association of Small College Basketball presents the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award to Herb Magee.”
After 54 seasons as the men’s basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson University, Coach Magee retired following the 2021-22 season. Coach Magee guided the Rams through several institution name changes, from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Sciences (1961-99) to Philadelphia University (1999-2017) to Thomas Jefferson University (2017-22). Coach Magee was a standout player for then Philadelphia Textile. From 1959-1963, Magee scored 2,235 points and averaged a school record 29.1 points per game during the 1961-62 season. He was named All-American in 1962 and 1963 and led the Rams to a 75-17 record. In 1963 Magee led the Rams to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
In 1963, after graduating from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Sciences, Coach Magee was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 62nd pick. Coach Magee decided not to join the Celtics and went back to serve as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Coach Herb Magee had this to say about being named the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award winner:
“I am very honored to accept this award,” stated Magee. “I want to accept the award on behalf of all my assistant coaches and players that I had the privilege to work with in my 55 year head coaching career.”
Coach Magee started his career as an assistant coach under Walter “Bucky” Harris, before taking over the program in 1967. On his way to a Hall of Fame career, Coach Magee compiled 1,144 victories. At the end of his career he was the winningest NCAA Division II men’s basketball coach of all time. Coach Magee led his teams to 31 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national championship in 1970. During the 1970 season, the Rams overcame a 1-2 start to run off 28 consecutive victories on their way to the championship. In the their final 26 victories, the Rams won by a double-figure margin. The Rams defeated Tennessee State 76-65 in the national championship.
Under Coach Magee’s leadership, the Rams finished with 38 seasons with at least 20 wins and 13 with at least 25 wins. Coach Magee led the Rams to a school record 30 wins during the 1992-93 season. Magee’s teams finished with a winning record for an astonishing 25 consecutive seasons during from 1977-2022. Coach Magee finished with a career record of 1,144-450. Current Thomas Jefferson University men’s basketball coach Jimmy Reilly had this to say about Coach Magee:
“What Coach Magee accomplished will never be duplicated,” stated Reilly. “If you think about what he did at one school, it’s truly amazing. He belongs on the Mount Rushmore of college basketball coaches. I am so lucky to have had a front row seat to see him in action for 15 years.”
Coach Magee has produced 13 All – Americans, 49 1,000 point scorers and three 2,000 point scorers. In 2007, Christian Burns was selected as the Daktronics NCAA Division II Player of the Year. After joining the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, Magee led 15 different players to be named to the CACC All – Academic team. In Magee’s final season at the helm, the Rams finished with a 21-6 mark and a CACC South Division title and a semifinal appearance in the CACC Tournament.
Coach Magee was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. He is a member of a number of Hall of Fame’s including the West Catholic High School of Fame, Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, the Philadelphia University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984, the Philadelphia Area Small College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Middle Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame in 2022. He was named regional Coach of the Year four times, national Coach of the Year twice, and Co-Coach of the Year in the Mideast Collegiate Conference twice.
In 2005, Coach Magee was selected as a Guardian of the Game by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) under its education core value and was honored at the NCAA Division I Final Four. Coach Magee was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Sports Congress. In 2012, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association chose Coach Magee as its “Living Legend.” The NABC honored Coach Magee in 2020 as the Hillyard Golden Anniversary Award. In 2022, Coach Magee was the recipient of the NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award.
Coach Magee was given the nickname “The Shot Doctor” after working with numerous NBA players on the art of the jump shot. He worked with Charles Barkley, Jameer Nelson and Evan Turner. Coach Magee also produced a pair of instruction DVDs: “Nothing but Net” and “Nothing But Drills.”
“I feel so fortunate to have had a career that allowed me to coach and work with so many amazing young men including many NBA players,” stated Magee.
Coach Magee will be awarded the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Awards Show on Saturday April 22nd.
For more information on the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award and Small College Basketball head to smallcollegebasketball.com.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for the Small College Basketball Alumni Association is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated a continuous commitment to small college basketball including measureable, lasting and sustained leadership and service, as well as an impact on the game over a career or a lifetime. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year at the Small College Basketball’s Celebration of the Game. Nominations for the award are made by members of the alumni association.