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|Sport(s)||Basketball, baseball, football|
March 12, 1895|
|Died||January 2, 1970
Bowling Green, Kentucky
|Alma mater||Centre College|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1972 (profile)
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Edgar Allen Diddle (March 12, 1895 – January 2, 1970) was an American college men's basketball coach. He is known for coaching at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky from 1922 to 1964. Diddle became the first coach in history to coach 1,000 games at one school. Diddle was known for waving a red towel around along the sidelines during his games. He was known to wave, toss, and chew on this towel, and even cover his face in times of disappointment. His red towel is now part of WKU's official athletic logo. Diddle experienced only five losing seasons in 42 years and averaged 25 wins per year overall.
He was born in Gradyville, Kentucky.
Diddle's teams claimed 32 conference championships; played in 11 postseason tournaments; won 20+ games eighteen different times, (including one stretch of ten years in a row); became the first team from the South to participate in the Olympic Trials; and won an amazing 759 games. When he stepped down in 1964 Diddle had won more games than any coach in NCAA history and today he still ranks in the top ten on the all-time list.
While Diddle was best known for coaching men's basketball, he also coached football (1922-1928) baseball (1923-1957) and women's basketball at WKU, although men's basketball was his only coaching job for the vast majority of his tenure at the school.
Prior to coming to Western Kentucky, Diddle played basketball and football for Centre College and was a member of their 1919 undefeated basketball team and 1919 undefeated football team. He was a halfback on the football team. After college he coached basketball at Monticello High School, where he guided the team to the Kentucky State Tournament semi-finals, and then Greenville High School, which played in a regional tournament at Bowling Green. During the tournament, he came to the attention of officials at Western Kentucky who offered him the coaching position at the college.
E. A. Diddle Arena, the basketball venue at WKU, built in 1963, is named for him. For the last six years of his life, Diddle was a fixture at the arena, even leading cheers. During a 1968 game against Dayton, he jumped on top of a press table to lead the students in cheers. When a Dayton sportswriter told him to get down, Diddle snapped, "What do you mean I can't get on top of this table? This is my damn gym!".
Head coaching record
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Independent) (1922–1948)|
|1931–32||Western Kentucky||15–8||1st KIAC|
|1932–33||Western Kentucky||16–6||1st KIAC|
|1933–34||Western Kentucky||28–8||1st KIAC 1st SIAA|
|1934–35||Western Kentucky||24–3||1st KIAC|
|1935–36||Western Kentucky||26–4||1st KIAC||National Olympics|
|1936–37||Western Kentucky||21–2||1st KIAC 1st SIAA|
|1937–38||Western Kentucky||30–3||1st KIAC 1st SIAA||NAIA (Forfeit)|
|1938–39||Western Kentucky||22–3||1st KIAC 1st SIAA|
|1939–40||Western Kentucky||24–6||1st KIAC 1st SIAA||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1940–41||Western Kentucky||22–4||1st SIAA|
|1941–42||Western Kentucky||29–5||1st KIAC 1st SIAA||NIT Runner-up|
|1942–43||Western Kentucky||24–3||1st KIAC||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1946–47||Western Kentucky||25–4||1st KIAC 1st SIAA|
|1947–48||Western Kentucky||28–2||1st KIAC||NIT 3rd Place|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Ohio Valley Conference) (1948–1964)|
|1948–49||Western Kentucky||25–4||8–2||1st||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1949–50||Western Kentucky||25–6||8–0||1st||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1950–51||Western Kentucky||19–10||4–4||4th||NCT 1st Round|
|1951–52||Western Kentucky||26–5||11–1||1st||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1952–53||Western Kentucky||25–6||8–2||2nd||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1953–54||Western Kentucky||29–3||9–1||1st||NIT 4th Place|
|1959–60||Western Kentucky||21–7||10–2||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|1961–62||Western Kentucky||17–10||11–1||1st||NCAA Second Round|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- "Edgar Allen Diddle". Western Kentucky University Alumni. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
- Frank G. Weaver. "Come On, You Praying Kentucians". Association Men. 45: 416.
- "The Story of Legendary WKU Basketball Coach E.A. Diddle". Western Kentucky University. Retrieved March 5, 2014.