Gene Keady

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Geraeqne Keady
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1936-05-21) May 21, 1936 (age 79)
Larned, Kansas
Playing career
1954–1956 Garden City CC
1956–1958 Kansas State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1959–1965 Beloit HS
1965–1966 Hutchinson JC (asst.)
1966–1974 Hutchinson JC
1975–1978 Arkansas (asst.)
1978–1980 Western Kentucky
1980–2005 Purdue
2005–2006 Toronto Raptors (asst.)
2010–2015 St. John's (asst.)
Head coaching record
Overall 550–289 (.655)
Accomplishments and honors
6 Big Ten Regular Season Championship (1984, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996)
1 OVC Tournament Championship (1980)
1 OVC Regular Season Championship (1980)
2 Elite Eights (1994, 2000)
5 Sweet Sixteens (1988, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000)
18 NCAA Tournament bids (1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003)
1 NIT Finals (1982)
2 NIT Semi-Finals (1981, 1982)
4 NIT Final Eight (1981, 1982, 1992, 2001)
7 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1990 NJCAA Hall of Fame
2001 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame[1]
2004 Naismith Outstanding Contribution to Basketball
2007 Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
2007 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award
2010 Joe Lapchick Character Award
2010 Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013

Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Keady (born May 21, 1936) is an American basketball coach. Most recently an assistant coach at St. John's University, he is most notable for being the head men's college basketball coach at Purdue University for 25 years, from 1980 to 2005.

Personal life[edit]

Keady was born in Larned, Kansas on May 21, 1936. He married his first wife, Patricia, in 1981 and had three children. They were married until her death in 2009. He remarried in 2012 to Kathleen Petrie.[2] Keady is known for his combover hairstyle, which included hair extensions and dye. He reported that he spent $600 a week to maintain the hairstyle. In 2013, Keady changed his hair at the behest of his wife Kathleen. After cutting his hair, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on his scalp.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Kansas State[edit]

Keady's father instilled in him a passion for sports. This became evident as Keady was a four sport athlete at Garden City Junior College in Garden City, Kansas. At the junior college level, Keady was named an All-American in football for playing quarterback. Keady continued his education at a higher level at Kansas State University. At Kansas State, Keady was a letter-winner in three sports: football, baseball, and track. In the summer of 1958, Keady graduated from Kansas State with a B.S. in biological sciences and physical education.


Keady was drafted in the 19th round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers (223rd overall pick) but did not play.

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Beloit High School (1959–1965)

With his football playing career over, Keady returned to Kansas in 1959 where he accepted a teaching and coaching position at Beloit High School in Beloit, Kansas. The only coaching position open at the school was for the basketball team. Keady coached in Beloit for six years from 1959 to 1965. Keady understood the value of education and never stopped learning, even while he was coaching. In 1964, he earned his master's degree in education from Kansas State. While coaching high school basketball, he compiled a record of 142 wins to 47 losses.


Hutchinson Junior College (1965–1974)

Keady began his college coaching career with Hutchinson Junior College in Hutchinson, Kansas. He served as the assistant coach for the Blue Dragons starting in 1965. After only one year, Keady was promoted to take over the head coaching position. Under Keady's leadership the Blue Dragons won six league titles, and Keady earned the title of junior college coach of the year three times (1971, 1972, 1973)for his region.[4] The highlight of his early coaching career came in 1973 when Hutchinson finished second in the junior college national tournament after completing the season with 29 wins and 4 losses. His overall record at Hutchinson was 187–48, a 79.6 winning percentage.

Arkansas (1975–1978)

In 1975, Keady moved onto NCAA Division I college basketball as an assistant coach for Arkansas. Head coach Eddie Sutton and Keady made the Razorbacks into a perennial national contender. In 1977, Arkansas appeared in the NCAA tournament for the first time in nineteen years. In 1978, Arkansas made it to the Final Four. Although they lost a close game to Kentucky, making it to the Final Four was a huge success for Keady and Sutton. While at Arkansas, Keady gained fame for his impressive recruiting skills. Notable players recruited by Keady include Ron Brewer, Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief. During his time at Arkansas, the team accumulated 94 wins with 24 losses.

Western Kentucky (1978–1980)

Following the third place finish in the 1978 NCAA tournament, Keady was ready to lead his own team to the tournament. In 1978, he accepted the position of head coach for Western Kentucky University. In his first year as a division one head coach, the team went 17–11, and finished tied for second in the conference. The team improved in his second year to go 21–8 and be named the regular season Ohio Valley Conference Co-Champions. The team won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. In the first round the team played Virginia Tech, but lost in overtime. While at Western Kentucky, Keady and assistant coach Bruce Weber compiled an overall record of 38–19.

Purdue (1980–2005)

Gene Keady became the Purdue Boilermakers men's basketball head coach on April 11, 1980. Keady became the winningest coach in school history with 493 victories and second winningest coach in Big Ten Conference history, only behind former rival, Bob Knight, and was the Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times. He guided the Boilermakers to 6 Big Ten titles, including three straight outright crowns from 1994 through 1996. However, Keady was never able to win an NCAA championship in his career despite his success, nor reach a Final Four with Purdue. Keady hired Matt Painter (1989–1993), as his associate head coach for the 2004–2005 season. He was selected to take over the head coaching position.

Keady retired from coaching Purdue following the 2004–2005 season after leading Purdue to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances. He took the Boilermakers to two Elite Eight appearances and five total Sweet Sixteen appearances. His total NCAA tournament postseason record is 20–19. He led Purdue to five NIT appearances with a record of 12–5 and a second and third place finish. Mackey Arena's basketball court was named "Keady Court" in dedication to him. In October 2006 Keady was named the recipient of the 2007 John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Award. Keady is the ninth recipient of this award, as it was created in 1999. While coaching at Purdue, Gene was quoted by saying, "Recruiting is a lot like shaving, if you miss a day, you look like a bum." [1]

His tenure at Purdue was notable in the number of wins he achieved, while only coaching 8 All-Americans; Keith Edmonson (1982_AP Honorable Mention); Troy Lewis (1987 & 1988_AP Honorable Mention), Todd Mitchell (1988_NABC - 3rd Team, AP Honorable Mention); Steve Scheffler (1990_AP & UPI 3rd Team), Glenn Robinson (1993_Consensus 2nd Team & 1994_Consensus 1st Team, Consensus National Player of the Year), Cuonzo Martin (1995_AP Honorable Mention); Chad Austin (1998_AP Honorable Mention), Brad Miller (1998_AP Honorable Mention).

St. John's (2010–present)

In October 2010, newly hired St. John's coach Steve Lavin hired Keady to be his assistant coach. [2] His main roles as an assistant to Lavin are breaking down game film and serving as a bench coach on game days.

College head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (OVC) (1978–1980)
1978–79 Western Kentucky 17–11 7–5 T–2nd
1979–80 Western Kentucky 21–8 10–2 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
Western Kentucky: 38–19 (.667) 17–7 (.708)
Purdue Boilermakers (Big 10) (1980–2005)
1980–81 Purdue 21–11 10–8 4th NIT 3rd Place
1981–82 Purdue 18–14 11–7 5th NIT Runner-Up
1982–83 Purdue 21–9 11–7 T–2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1983–84 Purdue 22–7 15–3 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
1984–85 Purdue 20–9 11–7 T–3rd NCAA 1st Round
1985–86 Purdue 22–10 11–7 T–4th NCAA 2nd Round
1986–87 Purdue 25–5 15–3 T–1st NCAA 2nd Round
1987–88 Purdue 29–4 16–2 1st NCAA Sweet 16
1988–89 Purdue 15–16 8–10 T–6th
1989–90 Purdue 22–8 13–5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1990–91 Purdue 17–12 9–9 T–5th NCAA 1st Round
1991–92 Purdue 18–15 8–10 T–6th NIT Final 8
1992–93 Purdue 18–10 9–9 T–5th NCAA 1st Round
1993–94 Purdue 29–5 14–4 1st NCAA Elite 8
1994–95 Purdue 25–7 15–3 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1995–96 Purdue 15–3* 6–12* 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1996–97 Purdue 18–12 12–6 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1997–98 Purdue 28–8 12–4 3rd NCAA Sweet 16
1998–99 Purdue 21–13 7–9 7th NCAA Sweet 16
1999–00 Purdue 24–10 12–4 2nd NCAA Elite 8
2000–01 Purdue 17–15 6–10 8th NIT Final 8
2001–02 Purdue 13–18 5–11 T–8th
2002–03 Purdue 19–11 10–6 T–3rd NCAA 2nd Round
2003–04 Purdue 17–14 7–9 T–7th NIT 1st Round
2004–05 Purdue 7–21 3–13 10th
Purdue: 493–270 (.646) 256–169 (.602)
Total: 531–289 (.648)

      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


Dream Team (2000)

In 2000, Keady won a gold medal in the Olympic Games in Sydney as an assistant coach for the Dream Team.

As the head coach of various USA Basketball teams, Keady racked up a record of 22–2 in four different tournaments from 1979 to 1991. He led Team USA to two gold medals: one in 1979 at the National Sports Festival, and another in 1989 at the World University Games. Keady also grabbed the silver medal in 1985 at the R. Williams Jones Cup and the bronze at the 1991 Pan-American Games.


Toronto Raptors (2005–2006)

On December 6, 2005 he accepted a position of an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors offered to him by senior basketball adviser to the president Wayne Embry.[5] The hiring was officially announced by the club on December 9 in a press release.[6] On May 18, 2006 it was announced that Keady would not be returning for the 2006–07 season because of his wife's illness.[7]

Basketball analyst career[edit]

Big Ten Network (2007–present)

In 2007, The Big Ten Network, a network that airs live sporting events of Big Ten Conference teams and news from around the conference, hired Keady to be a basketball analyst, along with former Big Ten basketball players, Tim Doyle and Jim Jackson. Keady is also an occasional commentator for the network. He attends Purdue home games on a regular basis.

Gene Keady coaching tree[edit]

The Gene Keady coaching tree is a chain of NCAA basketball coaches who can trace their coaching roots to Gene Keady. Some of the most notable coaches include:

Bruce Weber
After serving as an assistant under Gene Keady for one season at Western Kentucky and 18 seasons at Purdue, Bruce Weber became the head coach at Southern Illinois University in 1998. He quickly turned a losing team into a success, winning the Missouri Valley Conference title twice and making two NCAA Tournament appearances in his five seasons with the Salukis, including a Sweet Sixteen run in 2002. From 2003 to 2012, he was the head coach at Illinois, where he led the Illini team to two Big Ten Conference championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Finals in 2005. In 2012, he was fired from Illinois and hired as the head coach at Kansas State.
Kevin Stallings
Kevin Stallings was an assistant under Keady for six seasons from 1982 to 1988; he also played at Purdue for three seasons, two of them under Keady. He then spent five years as an assistant at the University of Kansas, where he helped lead the Jayhawks to two Final Four appearances under Roy Williams. In 1993, he became the head coach at Illinois State, where he led the Redbirds to two Missouri Valley Conference championships and two NCAA appearances in six seasons. He is currently the head coach at Vanderbilt University and has led the Commodores to two Sweet Sixteen appearances. He was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010.
Steve Lavin
Steve Lavin was an assistant coach at Purdue under Gene Keady from 1988 to 1991 before he was hired as an assistant at UCLA. Lavin was an assistant under Jim Harrick in 1995 when UCLA won the NCAA Championship. In 1996, after Harrick was fired, Lavin took over as UCLA's head coach. In seven seasons as head coach, Lavin led the Bruins to six consecutive NCAA appearances and four Sweet Sixteens and an Elite Eight. He was named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year in 2001. Lavin then served as a color commentator on ABC and ESPN. After a stint commentating for college basketball, Lavin accepted the offer to be the new St. John's head coach of the Big East Conference starting the 2010-2011 season.
Matt Painter
Matt Painter played for Gene Keady from 1989–1993, starting 50 games for the Boilermakers. After graduation, Painter turned to coaching basketball, beginning his career as an assistant at Division III Washington & Jefferson College in 1993, after which he spent one season as an assistant at Division II Barton College and three seasons at Division I Eastern Illinois University. In 1998, Painter joined the Southern Illinois coaching staff as an assistant when Bruce Weber took over the head coaching position. After Weber left for Illinois, Painter took over the head coaching position and he led the Salukis to a conference title and to an NCAA appearance in his only season as the head coach. In 2004, he took an associate head coaching position at Purdue University. After Keady retired in 2005, Painter took the head coaching job. He led the Boilers to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in his first six seasons as the head coach at Purdue, while being named the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Cuonzo Martin
Cuonzo Martin was an assistant for Gene Keady and Matt Painter at his alma mater from 2000 to 2008 at Purdue (where he played from 1991-1995 under Keady) before moving on to his first head coaching position at Missouri State, where he led the Bears to a 10-0 start in the 2009-2010 season and their first MVC conference title in the 2010-2011 season. In March 2011 Cuonzo was named the head coach at the University of Tennessee. Counzo was named the Head Coach at the University of California Golden Bears in Berkeley, California, on April 15, 2014. He replaced Mike Montgomery at Cal when Montgomery retired.
Alan Major
Alan Major served as a student manager under Keady during his undergraduate tenure at Purdue. After graduating in 1992, Major became an assistant coach at Cal Lutheran, a Div. III school, and then Pacific. He spent one season (1998–1999) on the staff of fellow Purdue alumnus Bruce Weber before returning to Pacific. In 2001, he became an assistant coach at Xavier under Thad Matta. He followed Matta to Ohio State in 2004 where he worked as an assistant coach for six seasons. In 2010, he was named the head coach of Charlotte.
Linc Darner
Although never serving as an assistant under Keady, Linc Darner was a player under Keady at Purdue from 1991 to 1994, teaming with fellow mentions Cuonzo Martin and Matt Painter. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Lincoln Memorial University, before moving to Ashland University as the school's recruiting coordinator and moved on to Murray State, where helped them win two Ohio Valley Conference championships as an assistant. He got his first head coaching position at St. Joseph's, a Div. II college in Indiana in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. He then moved on to coach the Mocs at Florida Southern, a Division II team in the Sunshine State Conference. In his second season at FSC, he was named the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year, while winning the conference title and tournament. He led the Mocs to the 2015 Division II National Championship. Less than a month later he was named the head coach at Green Bay
Paul Lusk
Paul Lusk transferred from the Southern Illinois bench staff and came to assist under Gene Keady and associate head coach Matt Painer. Lusk served under Keady for the 2005 season and continued to serve under Painter for the following six seasons (2006-2011), being named his associate head coach (2009-2011) after Cuonzo Martin moved to Missouri State to take the head coaching position. He helped lead Purdue to four NCAA Tournament appearances, which included two Sweet Sixteens with a 6-4 record in the NCAA tournament. He helped lead the Boilers to a Conference Tournament Championship (2009), as well as help lead the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Title (2010). After the 2011 season, Lusk accepted the vacant head coaching job at Missouri State, taking over Cuonzo Martin's position. On December 28, 2011, Lusk led the Bears to a victory on the road against # 21 Creighton.
Austin Parkinson
Austin Parkinson currently serves as the head women's basketball coach at Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI), a division 1 school in the Summit League. Parkinson played under Gene Keady at Purdue 2000-2004 and served as a graduate assistant following his playing career. Later he began his coaching career on the staff of former Big Ten rival, IU graduate Dane Fife at Indiana University Purdue University - Fort Wayne (IPFW). Parkinson left IPFW to become assistant head men's coach at IUPUI. The Summit League awarded Parkinson 2012-2013 Women's Basketball Coach of the Year.
Carson Cunningham
Carson Cunningham currently serves as the head coach at Carroll College (MT), an NAIA Division I school in the Frontier Conference.:[8] Cunningham played under Keady at Purdue 1998-2001; leading the Boilermakers to a pair of Sweet 16 finishes and one Elite Eight appearance. He is one of three two-time Academic All-America basketball players from Purdue, (the others: Coach John Wooden and Steve Reid). Following a four year professional career in the CBA and overseas, Cunningham completed his PhD and began an academic career at DePaul University; simultaneously, he began coaching at his high school alma mater; he spent five years at Andrean High School. (Merrillville, Indiana). Cunningham turned around a program that won two games the season before he arrived into one that won four straight sectional titles and 43 of their last 50 games. His final season, he led the ‘59ers to the final four in Indiana’s second biggest class (3A) and a #3 state ranking.