August 6, 1904|
|Died||January 15, 1993
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||751–340 (.688) (basketball)
90-41 (.687) (baseball)
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2× NCAA Division I Championship (1945, 1946)
4× Regional Championships - Final Four (1945, 1946, 1949, 1951)
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1969 (profile)
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Iba was born and raised in Easton, Missouri. He played college basketball at Westminster College, where he became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. The basketball court at Westminster is now named in his honor.
Oklahoma State University
After coaching stints at Maryville Teachers' College (now Northwest Missouri State University) and the University of Colorado, Iba came to Oklahoma A&M College in 1934. He stayed at Oklahoma A&M, renamed Oklahoma State University in 1957, for 36 years until his retirement after the 1969–70 season. For most of his tenure at A&M/OSU, he doubled as athletic director. Additionally, Iba coached OSU's baseball team from 1934 to 1941.
Iba's teams were methodical, ball-controlling units that featured weaving patterns and low scoring games. Iba's "swinging gate" defense (a man-to-man with team flow) was applauded by many, and is still effective in today's game. He was known as "the Iron Duke of Defense." Iba is thought to be one of the toughest coaches in NCAA history. He was a very methodical coach, and he always wanted things done perfectly.
Iba's Aggies became the first to win consecutive NCAA titles (1945 and 1946). His 1945–46 NCAA champions were led by Bob Kurland, the game's first seven-foot player. They beat NYU in the 1945 finals and North Carolina in the 1946 finals. He was voted coach of the year in both seasons. His 1945 champions defeated National Invitation Tournament champion, DePaul, and 6'9" center George Mikan in a classic Red Cross Benefit game.
A&M/State teams won 14 Missouri Valley titles and one Big Eight title, and won 655 games in 36 seasons. All told, in 40 years of coaching, he won 767 games—the second-most in college basketball history at the time of his retirement. As OSU's athletic director, he built a program that won 19 national championships in 5 sports (basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf, cross country) over the years. After his retirement, "Mr. Iba" (as he is still called at OSU) frequently showed up at practices, often giving advice to young players.
In 1987, OSU's home arena, Gallagher Hall, was renamed Gallagher-Iba Arena in Iba's honor. A seat in the southeast concourse level of the arena is known as "Mr. Iba's Seat," and it is maintained without a fan having sat in it.
Iba died on January 15, 1993, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Iba coached the USA Olympic basketball team in 1964, 1968 and 1972. He is the first coach in USA Olympic basketball history to coach two gold medal winning teams (1964 in Tokyo and 1968 in Mexico City). Coach Mike Krzyzewski was the second. The 1972 final resulted in a controversial loss to the Soviet Union breaking Team USA's 63-game win streak since basketball was introduced to the Olympics in 1936.
Honors and awards
He was elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Missouri Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation All-Time Hall of Fame for basketball, National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (in 2006), FIBA Hall of Fame (in 2007) and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (in 1969) at Springfield, Massachusetts.
Iba was indirectly responsible for a $165 million donation to the Oklahoma State University Athletic Program. In 1951, T. Boone Pickens, a graduate of OSU with a degree in petroleum geology, was looking for a job and asked Iba for help. Iba set the young graduate up with two interviews for high-school basketball coaching jobs and although Pickens didn't end up becoming a coach, the favor Iba did for him was the impetus behind his decision 50 years later to make a $165 million donation to Oklahoma State University's athletic program.
Head coaching record
|Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1930–1933)|
|1929–30||Northwest Missouri State||31–0|
|1930–31||Northwest Missouri State||31–6|
|1931–32||Northwest Missouri State||20–2||NAAU Runner-up|
|1932–33||Northwest Missouri State||12–7|
|Northwest Missouri State:||93–15|
|Colorado Buffaloes (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) (1933–1934)|
|Oklahoma A&M (Missouri Valley Conference) (1934–1970)|
|1939–40||Oklahoma A&M||26–3||12–0||1st||NIT Final Four|
|1943–44||Oklahoma A&M||27–6||1st*||NIT Final Four|
|1944–45||Oklahoma A&M||27–4||1st*||NCAA Champion|
|1945–46||Oklahoma A&M||31–2||12–0||1st||NCAA Champion|
|1948–49||Oklahoma A&M||23–5||9–1||1st||NCAA Runner-Up|
|1950–51||Oklahoma A&M||29–6||12–2||1st||NCAA 4th Place|
|1952–53||Oklahoma A&M||23–7||8–2||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1953–54||Oklahoma A&M||24–5||9–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1955–56||Oklahoma A&M||18–9||8–4||2nd||NIT 1st Round|
|Oklahoma State (Big Eight Conference) (1957–1970)|
|1957–58||Oklahoma State||21–8||–||–||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1964–65||Oklahoma State||20–7||12–2||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Iba is known for his coaching tree, the group of prominent coaches who either coached or played for Iba himself, or are linked to Iba by playing for one of his pupils. Coaches in this tree typically use a physical man-to-man defense and an offense predicated on ball movement and passing.
|Coach||Iba connection||Years as Head Coach||Notes|
|Larry Brown||Played for 1964 U.S. Olympic team||Numerous college and pro teams, 1972–present||1988 NCAA title; 2004 NBA title|
|Doug Collins||Played for 1972 U.S. Olympic team||Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, 1986-2013|
|Jack Hartman||Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1943–47; assistant coach at Oklahoma A&M, 1954||Southern Illinois, Kansas State, 1962-86||NABC National Coach of the Year, 1981|
|Don Haskins||Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1949–52; assistant coach on 1972 U.S. Olympic Team||Texas Western/UTEP, 1961-1999||1966 NCAA title|
|Moe Iba||Played for Oklahoma State, 1958–62; assistant to Don Haskins at UTEP, 1962-66||Memphis State, Nebraska, Texas Christian, 1966-94||Son of Henry Iba|
|Bob Knight||Assistant coach on 1972 U.S. Olympic Team||Army, Indiana, Texas Tech, 1965-2008||1976, '81, and '87 NCAA titles|
|Bud Millikan||Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1939-42||Maryland, 1950–67|
|Doyle Parrack||Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1943-46||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1950-62|
|Wilbur "Sparky" Stalcup||Played for Iba at Northwest Missouri, 1929-33||Northwest Missouri, Missouri, 1933-62|
|Eddie Sutton||Played for Oklahoma A&M, 1955–58; assistant coach at Oklahoma State, 1958-59||Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, San Francisco, 1969-2008||1978 and 1986 AP National Coach of the Year|
Henry Iba Award
The Henry Iba Award was established in 1959 to recognize the best college basketball coach of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Five nominees are presented and the individual with the most votes receives the award which is presented in conjunction with the Final Four. The award is presented at the Oscar Robertson Trophy breakfast the Friday before the Final Four.
- List of college men's basketball coaches with 600 wins
- List of NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by coach
- List of Oklahoma State University Olympians
- Henry Iba at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture profile