Press Maravich's first head coaching job at the college level was West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1949–1950. From there he went on to become head coach of his alma mater, Davis & Elkins, 1950–1952. He had previously served as an assistant under Red Brown from 1947 to 1949.
Maravich was head coach of the Tigers of Clemson University from 1956–1962. He then went to North Carolina State University to be an assistant coach under Everett Case. Maravich took over the head coaching duties when health problems, namely cancer, forced Case to retire early in the 1964–1965 season. Maravich led the Wolfpack to the Atlantic Coast Conferencetitle that season. Maravich left for Louisiana State University in April 1966 where he coached his son, Pete Maravich. Upon offering the LSU scholarship to "Pistol," "Press" told his boy that "If you don't sign this ... don't ever come into my house again." In spite of coaching his prolific son for half of his coaching career at LSU, Maravich had an overall losing record at the school. Maravich was replaced at LSU by Dale Brown in 1972. He then went on to coach the Mountaineers of Appalachian State, shepherding them through their early years in Division I, before retiring from coaching in 1975. Maravich returned to coaching in the early 1980s as associate head coach at Campbell University.
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
Petar Maravich was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 1985. During a basketball clinic in Israel signs of his condition appeared when he had begun to urinate blood. Due to son Pete Maravich's strong belief in holistic healing and herbal medication, proper cancer treatment was delayed for too long to have a significant effect. Press eventually was persuaded to receive proper treatment for his condition at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, but he canceled before being admitted. On February 11, 1987, Press and son Pete flew to Hanover, Germany for an experimental treatment that lasted for 11 days; symptoms such as coughing subsided while the treatment had no effect on the cancer. Through the next two months, Press's condition deteriorated while Pete took constant care of him with his niece, Diana. Press Maravich lived his last days in Highland Park Hospital in Covington, Louisiana where he died shortly before 6:30 p.m., April 15, 1987. Press Maravich lived just long enough to see Pete selected as a possible member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but not long enough to see him officially inducted in May 1987. Pete Maravich is quoted as saying, "I'll see you soon." to his father immediately after his death; Pete Maravich died nine months later on January 5, 1988. Both father and son became born-again Christians late in their lives.