Don DeVoe

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Don DeVoe
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1941-12-31) December 31, 1941 (age 75)
Sabina, Ohio
Playing career
1962–1964 Ohio State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1965–1971 Army (Assistant)
1971–1976 Virginia Tech
1976–1978 Wyoming
1978–1989 Tennessee
1989–1990 Florida
1992–2004 Navy
Head coaching record
Overall 512–389 (.568)
Accomplishments and honors
Patriot League Coach of the Year
SEC Coach of the Year (1979, 1981, 1982)

Donald Eugene DeVoe (born December 31, 1941) is a former American college basketball coach and former player. DeVoe played college basketball for Ohio State University, and later served as the head coach for Virginia Tech, the University of Wyoming, the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Early life and playing career[edit]

Born in Sabina, Ohio,[1] DeVoe grew up in the small town of Port William, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he played for coach Fred Taylor's Ohio State Buckeyes from 1962 to 1964. He was a member of the 1962 Buckeyes team that lost to the Cincinnati Bearcats in the final game of the NCAA Tournament, as well as the Buckeyes' Big Ten Conference champion teams of 1963 and 1964.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

DeVoe's Buckeyes teammates included Bob Knight, under whom he served as an assistant coach, from 1965 to 1971, while Knight led the Army Black Knights men's basketball team.[2] Knight left Army to become the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team in 1971, and DeVoe was offered the head coach position at Virginia Tech.

While coaching the Virginia Tech Hokies men's basketball team, DeVoe led the Hokies to a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title in 1973,[3] as well as an NCAA tournament appearance in 1976. Playing an independent schedule, DeVoe's Hokies compiled an 88–45 record in five seasons from 1971 to 1976. From 1976 to 1978, DeVoe led the Wyoming Cowboys basketball program.

From 1978 to 1989, DeVoe was the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team. In eleven seasons in Knoxville, he compiled a 204–137 record. DeVoe's Volunteers teams emphasized hustle, team play and man-to-man defense.[4][5] He led the Volunteers to their first ever NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1981, where they lost to top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers. In his final season at Tennessee in 1988–89, he led the Vols to a 19–11 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.[6]

In the aftermath of NCAA infractions that led the University of Florida to demand head coach Norm Sloan's resignation before the start of the 1989–90 season,[7] DeVoe became the interim head coach of the Florida Gators men's basketball team shortly after retiring as head coach of Tennessee.[8] The Gators were a talented team beset by personality problems, and DeVoe later described his acceptance of the job on an interim basis as a "mistake" that left him without authority to fix the program's more serious issues.[6] He publicly clashed with the Gators' temperamental star center Dwayne Schintzius when DeVoe attempted to impose a new conditioning program and a measure of team discipline.[9] Schintzius quit mid-season, ostensibly over DeVoe's demand that he get a haircut,[6] and the Gators finished 7–21 overall and 3–15 in the SEC. After he was let go by Florida, he was succeeded by Lon Kruger.

DeVoe served as the head coach of the Navy Midshipmen men's basketball team from 1992 to 2004. He led the Midshipmen to a 182–155 record, a 26–3 record against arch-rival Army, five Patriot League regular season titles, three Patriot League tournament titles, and three NCAA Tournament appearances in twelve seasons. DeVoe was named Patriot League Coach of the Year three times.

In his thirty-one season career as a college basketball head coach, DeVoe led three different teams to the NCAA tournament, and posted an overall win-loss record of 512–389 (.568).


DeVoe and his wife Ana have two children—a son, Elliott, and a daughter, AnaLise. He is currently a member of the NIT selection committee.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Virginia Tech Hokies (Independent) (1971–1976)
1971–72 Virginia Tech 16–10
1972–73 Virginia Tech 22–5 NIT Championship
1973–74 Virginia Tech 13–13
1974–75 Virginia Tech 16–10
1975–76 Virginia Tech 21–7 NCAA 1st Round
Virginia Tech: 88–45
Wyoming Cowboys (Western Athletic Conference) (1976–1978)
1976–77 Wyoming 17–10 8–6 T–3rd
1977–78 Wyoming 12–15 3–11 7th
Wyoming: 29–25 11–17
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (1978–1989)
1978–79 Tennessee 21–12 12–6 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1979–80 Tennessee 18–11 12–6 T–3rd NCAA 2nd Round
1980–81 Tennessee 21–8 12–6 3rd NCAA Sweet 16
1981–82 Tennessee 20–10 13–5 T–1st NCAA 2nd Round
1982–83 Tennessee 20–12 9–9 T–4th NCAA 2nd Round
1983–84 Tennessee 21–14 9–9 6th NIT 3rd Round
1984–85 Tennessee 22–15 8–10 T–8th NIT Semifinals/NIT 3rd Place
1985–86 Tennessee 12–16 5–13 8th
1986–87 Tennessee 14–15 7–11 T–9th
1987–88 Tennessee 16–13 9–9 6th NIT 1st Round
1988–89 Tennessee 19–11 11–7 T–4th NCAA 1st Round
Tennessee: 204–137 107–91
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1989–1990)
1989–90 Florida 7–21 3–15 10th
Florida: 7–21 3–15
Navy Midshipmen (Patriot League) (1992–2004)
1992–93 Navy 8–19 5–9 5th
1993–94 Navy 17–13 9–5 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
1994–95 Navy 20–9 10–4 3rd
1995–96 Navy 15–12 9–3 T–1st
1996–97 Navy 20–9 10–2 1st NCAA 1st Round
1997–98 Navy 19–11 10–2 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
1998–99 Navy 20–7 9–3 2nd
1999–00 Navy 23–6 11–1 T–1st
2000–01 Navy 19–12 9–3 2nd
2001–02 Navy 10–20 5–9 7th
2002–03 Navy 8–20 4–10 7th
2003–04 Navy 5–23 2–12 8th
Navy: 184–161 93–63
Total: 512–389

      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


  1. ^ a b "Don DeVoe". Navy Sports. Archived from the original on July 10, 2003. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ Alexander Wolff, "Look Who's Gone Forth And Multiplied," Sports Illustrated (November 20, 1985). Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Pat Putnam, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Tech?" Sports Illustrated (April 2, 1973). Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Ralph Wiley, "Tennessee," Sports Illustrated (November 29, 1982). Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Ralph Wiley, "He's a Formidable Forward," Sports Illustrated (December 13, 1982). Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Mike Bianchi, "Two decades later, Don DeVoe has a message for cancer-stricken Dwayne Schintzius," Orlando Sentinel (March 11, 2010). Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  7. ^ Associated Press, "Florida Coach Retires At School's Request," The New York Times (November 1, 1989). Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  8. ^ William F. Reed, "SEC," Sports Illustrated (November 20, 1989). Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  9. ^ William F. Reed, "College Report," Sports Illustrated (December 11, 1989). Retrieved February 7, 2011.