Cal Luther

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Cal Luther
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1930-10-23) October 23, 1930 (age 86)
Valdosta, Georgia
Playing career
1949–1951 Valparaiso
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1951–1954 Illinois (Freshmen)
1954–1958 DePauw
1958–1974 Murray State
1981–1990 Longwood
1990–1999 UT Martin
1999–2000 Bethel (Tenn.)
Head coaching record
Overall 500-499-1
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Indiana Collegiate Conference championship (1957)
OVC championship (1964, 1969)
Awards
3× OVC Coach of the Year (1964, 1969, 1996)
Mason-Dixon Conference Coach of the Year (1988)

Calvin Charles Luther (born October 23, 1930[1]) is a retired American basketball coach. He was head men's coach at DePauw, Murray State, Longwood, UT Martin, and Bethel College. He was also head coach of the Egyptian national basketball team.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Valdosta, Georgia,[3] Luther was an All-state football and basketball player at Bay View High School in Milwaukee.[4][5] He played college basketball at Valparaiso from 1949-1951. He spent two years as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and was a member of Fort Benning's basketball and championship-winning football teams.[6]

Luther's coaching career began at the University of Illinois, where he spent three seasons as the freshman basketball while obtaining his master's degree.[7]

DePauw[edit]

Luther became DePauw University's head coach in 1954. In his first season as head coach, he coached DePauw to a rare tie against Wabash. DePauw defeated Wabash 67-66, however the coaches of both teams decided the game should be recorded as a tie due to a scorers error.[8] In four seasons with the Tigers, Luther had a 45-40-1 record; including the 1956-57 ICC Championship and a berth in the inaugural NCAA College Division Tourney.[9] He coached two of DePauw's 1,000 point scorers (#6 Bob Schrier - 1,415 and #22 John Bunnell 1,004)

Murray State[edit]

In 1958, Luther became Murray State's seventh head basketball coach. In his sixteen seasons at MSU, Luther's Racers had a 241-134 record and made the NCAA tournament twice.[10] He was also Murray State's Athletic Director.[11] In 1971, the Minnesota Golden Gophers hired Luther to coach the men's basketball team, but he changed his mind and turned the team down after accepting the position.[12] Luther was named OVC Coach of the Year in 1964 and 1969.

Longwood[edit]

Luther spent nine seasons as the head coach of Division II Longwood University, where he was selected Mason-Dixon Conference and Kodak Division II South District coach of the year in 1988. One of his players, Jerome Kersey, would be drafted in the second round of the 1984 NBA Draft. His overall record at Longwood was 136–105.[13]

Egypt[edit]

Luther was the coach of the Egyptian national basketball team in 1990. Egypt finished 16th out of 16 teams in the 1990 FIBA World Championship.

Tennessee-Martin[edit]

Luther coached Tennessee-Martin from 1990-1999. There he compiled a 72-163 record. His 319 total victories while a coach in the OVC ranks first all-time in league history. Luther was named OVC Coach of the Year in 1996, making him the only coach to win Coach of the Year honors at two different OVC institutions.[14] After leaving UT Martin, Luther spent one season as the coach of Bethel College before retiring.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
DePauw (Indiana Collegiate) (1954–1958)
1954-55 DePauw 8-11-1
1955-56 DePauw 13-8
1956-57 DePauw 12-9
1957-58 DePauw 12-12
DePauw: 45-50-1 (.474)
Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference) (1958–1974)
1958–59 Murray State 10–15 3–9 7th
1959–60 Murray State 12–11 7–4 3rd
1960–61 Murray State 13–10 7–5 4th
1961–62 Murray State 13–12 5–7 5th
1962–63 Murray State 13–9 6–6 4th
1963–64 Murray State 16–9 11–3 1st NCAA Round of 25
1964–65 Murray State 19–7 9–5 3rd
1965–66 Murray State 13–12 8–6 3rd
1966–67 Murray State 14–9 8–6 2nd
1967–68 Murray State 16–8 10–4 T–1st
1968–69 Murray State 22–6 11–3 T–1st NCAA Round of 25
1969–70 Murray State 17–9 9–5 2nd
1970–71 Murray State 19–5 10–4 2nd
1971–72 Murray State 15–11 6–8 5th
1972–73 Murray State 17–8 9–5 2nd
1973–74 Murray State 12–13 6–8 5th
1974–75 Murray State 10–15 3–11 7th
Murray State: 241–154 (.610) 125–88 (.587)
Longwood (Division II independent) (1981–1983)
1981–82 Longwood 15–8
1982–83 Longwood 15–10
Longwood (Mason–Dixon Conference) (1983–1988)
1983–84 Longwood 15–12 7–3 2nd
1984–85 Longwood 11–17 3–7 4th
1985–86 Longwood 14–13 7–3 2nd
1986–87 Longwood 13–14 3–5 3rd
1987–88 Longwood 19–10 6–2 T–1st
Longwood (Division II independent) (1988–1990)
1988–89 Longwood 20–7
1989–90 Longwood 14–14
Longwood: 136–105 (.564) 26–20 (.565)
UT Martin (Gulf South) (1990–1991)
1990–91 UT Martin 5-15 2-14
UT Martin (Ohio Valley) (1991–1999)
1991–92 UT Martin 9-19
1992-93 UT Martin 7-19 4-12 T–8th
1993–94 UT Martin 5-22 3-13 9th
1994–95 UT Martin 7-20 5-11 9th
1995–96 UT Martin 13-14 9-7 T–4th
1996–97 UT Martin 11-16 8-10 7th
1997–98 UT Martin 7-20 5-13 T–8th
1998–99 UT Martin 8-18 5-13 9th
UT Martin: 72–163 (.306) 39–79 (.331)


Bethel (Tennessee) (Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic) (1999–2000)
1999-2000 Bethel (Tennessee) 6-27
Bethel (Tennessee): 6-27 (.182) 0-0 (–)


Total: 500–499-1 (.501)

      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

[15] [16] [17][better source needed] [18]

References[edit]