Bob Weltlich

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Bob Weltlich
Biographical details
Born (1944-11-05) November 5, 1944 (age 75)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1971–1976Indiana (assistant)
1976–1982Ole Miss
1997–2002South Alabama
Head coaching record

Bob Weltlich (born November 5, 1944) is an American former college basketball coach and author. Weltlich coached 22 seasons with a career record of 300–335. He was head coach at the University of South Alabama, Florida International University (FIU), University of Texas, and University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).[1] Weltlich is one of only 19 coaches to lead three different programs to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

Coaching career[edit]


Weltlich got his degree in education from Ohio State University in 1967 and was set to teach. But he met Army coach Bob Knight in Orrville, Ohio. Knight hired him as an assistant at Army, then took him to Indiana University, where in 1976 he helped coach a 32–0 team to the NCAA title.[1]

Ole Miss[edit]

Weltlich left Indiana to become the head coach at the University of Mississippi.[1] Weltlich manned the Rebel sidelines for six years (1977–1982) and directed Ole Miss to an SEC Tournament title and the program’s postseason debut in 1981.[2] One episode of his aggressive coaching style, foreshadowing criticism levied against him later in his career, followed the team splitting two games in Illinois in 1979; after an all-night marathon bus/plane/bus trip that arrived back on campus on Christmas Day, Weltlich had the team dress for a tape session and practice. (This is described from player Sean Tuohy's point of view in both Michael Lewis' 2006 book The Blind Side, pp. 55–56; and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy's own 2010 book "In a Heartbeat, Sharing The Power of Cheerful Giving", p. 48,) Upon setting up the projector to watch film (at 10 am on Christmas Day), Weltlich leaned into Tuohy's ear and said, "Hey Twelve, Merry Fucking Christmas."


In 1982, second-year Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds hired Weltlich from Ole Miss to serve as the next Texas Longhorns men's basketball head coach. Nicknamed "Kaiser Bob" by Longhorn fans for his harshly disciplinarian approach, Weltlich was almost immediately faced with such a manpower shortage from the departures — both voluntary and involuntary — of so many Texas players that he famously had to press Texas male cheerleader Lance Watson into service during the Longhorns' abysmal 6–22 season of 1982–83.[3][4]

Weltlich coached the US national team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship, winning the silver medal.[5]

Weltlich's next three teams posted yearly improvements in overall records, with the 1985–86 team — which finished with a 19–12 mark and a share of the Southwest Conference Championship — representing the zenith of his tenure at Texas. After his teams finished 14–17 and 16–13 in the 1986–87 and 1987–88 seasons, respectively, Weltlich was dismissed with two years remaining on his contract.[6][7]

Weltlich compiled a 77–98 record during six seasons as the head coach at Texas. None of his six teams managed an appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament; only the 1985–86 team participated in postseason competition, losing 71–65 to Ohio State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).[6]


Weltlich served as head coach at Florida International University (FIU) from 1990 to 1995.[8]

Under Weltlich, the Panthers made their lone appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1995, losing to Jim Harrick's UCLA Bruins, 92–56, in the field of 64. Weltlich had already announced his resignation effective at the end of the season, and notably said during the post-game interviews "If anyone knows of any openings out there, my number is...".[9]

South Alabama[edit]

The 17-year coaching veteran was named the interim coach at the University of South Alabama on October 27, 1997 following Bill Musselman sudden resignation on October 7, 1997.[10] Weltlich coached the Jags from 1997 to 2002 and compiled a record of 81-65 and three 20-win seasons.[2]

He resigned from South Alabama after the 2002 season, but he and his family remained in Fairhope, Alabama, where he is a middle school teacher, trying to complete the 10 years of service he needs to qualify for retirement from the state of Alabama.[1]

Head Coaching record[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Ole Miss (SEC) (1976–1982)
1976–77 Ole Miss 11–16 5–13 9th
1977–78 Ole Miss 10–17 5–13 9th
1978–79 Ole Miss 11–16 6–12 8th
1979–80 Ole Miss 17–13 9–9 5th
1980–81 Ole Miss 16–14 8–10 6th NCAA First Round
1981–82 Ole Miss 18–12 11–7 4th
Ole Miss: 83–88 (.485) 44–64 (.407)
Texas (Southwest Conference) (1982–1988)
1982–83 Texas 6–22 1–15 9th
1983–84 Texas 7–21 3–13 8th
1984–85 Texas 15–13 7–9 7th
1985–86 Texas 19–12 12–4 T-1st NIT Second Round
1986–87 Texas 14–17 7–9 T-6th
1987–88 Texas 16–13 10–6 T-4th
Texas: 77–98 (.440) 40–56 (.417)
FIU (Independent) (1990–1991)
1990–91 FIU 6–22
FIU (Atlantic Sun) (1991–1995)
1991–92 FIU 11–17 7–7 3rd
1992–93 FIU 20–10 9–3 1st
1993–94 FIU 11–16 7–9 6th
1994–95 FIU 11–19 4–12 9th NCAA First Round
FIU: 59–84 (.413) 27–31 (.466)
South Alabama (Sun Belt) (1997–2002)
1997–98 South Alabama 21–7 14–4 1st NCAA First Round
1998–99 South Alabama 11–16 6–8 6th
1999–2000 South Alabama 20–10 13–3 1st
2000–01 South Alabama 22–11 11–5 1st (West)
2001–02 South Alabama 7–21 2–13 6th (West)
South Alabama: 81–65 (.555) 46–33 (.582)
Total: 300–335 (.472)

      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


In 2004, Weltlich's novel, Crooked Zebra, was released. It tells the story of a college basketball referee who begins to affect outcomes of games based on his gambling habits.


  1. ^ a b c d Potter, Jerry (2005-01-25). "Ex-coach Weltlich gets last word on referees with novel approach". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  2. ^ a b "Rebels Face Road Challenge at South Alabama Saturday". 2006-12-14. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  3. ^ "Texas basketball from A to Z," Austin American-Statesman Archived 2007-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Rosner, Mark (2005-11-15). "How the Longhorns Got Hot" (PDF). Austin-American Statesman. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 23, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  5. ^ 1982 USA Basketball Archived 2007-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "2004-05 Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  7. ^ "Timeline: A history of Texas basketball," Austin American-Statesman Archived 2007-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Tribute to a Legend". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  9. ^ "Florida International Golden Panthers in the NCAA Tournament". Archived from the original on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  10. ^ "Weltlich Hired". New York Times. 1997-10-28. Retrieved 2007-03-15.