Phil Woolpert

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Phil Woolpert
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1915-12-15)December 15, 1915
Danville, Kentucky
Died May 7, 1987(1987-05-07) (aged 71)
Sequim, Washington
Alma mater Los Angeles Junior College
Loyola University, Los Angeles
Playing career
1936–1940 Loyola-Los Angeles
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1950–1959 San Francisco
1961–1962 San Francisco Saints
1962–1969 San Diego
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1950–1959 San Francisco
1962–1969 San Diego
Head coaching record
Overall 243–168 (.591)
Tournaments NCAA: 13-2 (.867)
Accomplishments and honors
2x NCAA Champion (1955, 1956)
NCAA Final Four (1957)
4x WCC Champion (1955-1958)
2x UPI Coach of the Year (1955, 1956)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1992 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Phil Woolpert (December 15, 1915 – May 7, 1987) was an American college basketball coach. He is best known for coaching the University of San Francisco Dons to two straight national championships in 1955 and 1956.

Born in Danville, Kentucky, Woolpert attended high school in Los Angeles. He subsequently attended Los Angeles Junior College and Loyola University, Los Angeles, where he played basketball for three years and was initiated into the Alpha Delta Gamma National Fraternity.

In 1946, Woolpert was hired as basketball coach for St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, California where he posted a 63-29 record in his four years as coach. Upon Pete Newell's departure for Michigan State University, the University of San Francisco hired Woolpert to succeed Newell. He assumed both the posts of men's basketball coach and athletic director.

During his tenure at USF, Woolpert posted a 153-78 record, including a 60-game win streak that at the time was the longest in college basketball (surpassed later by John Wooden's 88 straight wins at UCLA.). His teams, anchored by Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Eugene Brown and Mike Farmer, were known for their defense and held opponents below 60 points on 47 different occasions. USF won the national championship in 1955 and 1956, and finished third in 1957. At the time the youngest college basketball coach to win a national championship, Woolpert also won Coach of the Year honors in 1955 and 1956.

After briefly coaching the San Francisco Saints of the American Basketball League, Woolpert returned to the college ranks in 1962, this time with the University of San Diego. While in San Diego, Woolpert posted a 90-90 record and served as both men's basketball coach and athletic director.

Phil Woolpert retired from coaching in 1969. He later settled down in Sequim, Washington and became a school bus driver. Woolpert died of cancer in 1987.

His son Paul is the assistant coach of the D-League Los Angeles D-fenders.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
San Francisco Dons (Independent) (1950–1952)
1950–51 San Francisco 9-17
1951–52 San Francisco 11-13
San Francisco Dons (West Coast Conference) (1955–1959)
1952–53 San Francisco 10-11 6-2 2nd
1953–54 San Francisco 14-7 8-4 2nd
1954–55 San Francisco 28-1 12-0 1st NCAA Champions
1955–56 San Francisco 29-0 14-0 1st NCAA Champions
1956–57 San Francisco 21-7 12-2 1st NCAA Third Place
1957–58 San Francisco 25-2 12-0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1958–59 San Francisco 6-20 3-9 6th
San Francisco: 153–78 (.662) 67–17 (.785)
San Diego Toreros (Independent) (1962–1969)
1962–63 San Diego 6-19
1963–64 San Diego 13-13
1964–65 San Diego 15-11
1965–66 San Diego 17-11
1966–67 San Diego 14-11
1967–68 San Diego 15-10
1968–69 San Diego 10-15
San Diego: 90–90 (.500)
Total: 243–168 (.591)

      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

See also[edit]