Gus Ganakas

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Gus Ganakas
Sport(s) Men's basketball
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Michigan State 1969–1976

Gus G. Ganakas (born July 3, 1926)[1] is an American sports broadcaster and former Michigan State Spartans men's basketball coach.[2] He was the head coach there from 1969–76.[3]

Ganakas is a native of Mount Morris, New York.[1] He attended Michigan State University (MSU) from 1946 to 1950 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. After graduation from MSU, Gus taught and coached basketball at East Lansing High School, where he won the 1958 State of Michigan High School Championship, posting an undefeated season. In 1964 he became the Coordinator of the Ralph Young Fund, MSU's athletic fund-raising organization. A passion for sports led him back to the world of basketball when Coach John Benington hired him as his MSU assistant basketball coach in 1966. Three years later, with the sudden death of Coach Benington, Gus became the head basketball coach for the Spartans, from 1969–76, compiling an 89–84 record. Also he trained in Uruguay.

As of the 2015-16 season, Ganakas has spent 31 years as a radio analyst on the Spartan Sports Network.[4] He is an active member of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.[5] From 1976-98, he served as assistant athletics director and from 1998-2000, Ganakas served as a special assistant to head coach Tom Izzo, directing the activities surrounding MSU Basketball’s Centennial in 1998-99.[4]

In 2002, Ganakas became the sixth recipient of the Men's Basketball Distinguished Alumnus Award.[6]


Ganakas was married to his wife Ruth who died in 2014. [7]

He resides in the Lansing area.[5]


  1. ^ a b Seibold, Jack (2003). Spartan Sports Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 908. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Gus Ganakas Named Michigan State Coach". The Hartford Courant. September 20, 1969. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Spartans proving they're up there where they belong". The Providence Journal. March 30, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Michigan State Radio | Spartan Sports Network | Big Ten Radio". Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  5. ^ a b "DSBA Member Roster". Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Michigan State Basketball Hands Out Awards At Annual Bust". Michigan State University. March 12, 2002. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Ruth Ganakas obituary". 

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