Wilbur Braithwaite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wilbur T. Braithwaite
Biographical details
Born (1926-05-24)May 24, 1926
Manti, Utah
Died April 12, 2010(2010-04-12) (aged 83)
Manti, Utah
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1951–1988 Manti High School (Utah) basketball
1951–2005 Manti High School (Utah) tennis
Head coaching record
Overall 534–267 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
11 Utah state tennis (1953, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1971, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1993, 1994)
1 Utah state basketball (1966)
Utah Coach of the Year (1966)
Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (UIAAA) Director of the Year (1982)
President, Utah High School Basketball Coaches Association (1983–1984)
UHSAA Coaching Award (1987–1988)
UHSAA 2A Coach of the Year (1988)
Utah Summer Games Hall of Honor (1988)
NFHS National High School Hall of Fame (1989)
UIAAA Distinguished Service Award (1989)
Olympic Torch Bearer for Manti, Utah (2002)
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Award of Merit (2006)
0 technical fouls in 37 years as basketball coach

Wilbur T. Braithwaite (May 24, 1926 – April 12, 2010) is a former high school basketball and tennis coach for Manti High School. He was honored with the NFHS award of Merit in 2006,[1] and was selected as an Olympic torch bearer for his city Manti, Utah on February 5, 2002.[2]

"Coach" was also known as a poet, philosopher, business-owner, musician, composer, and pen-pal. He is believed to have written thousands of uplifting, hand-written letters over his life [3] to people all over the country including John Wooden and Bob Knight.[4]

Personal Life and Education[edit]

Wilbur Braithwaite was born to Charles G. and Eva Tuttle Braithwaite in Manti, Utah, and graduated from Manti High School. During World War II at the age of 18 years, he served in Company A of the 253rd Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division in the European Theater of Operations. He was injured by a "Bouncing Betty" landmine and took 11 months to recover.[4] He received the Purple Heart for these wounds received near the border of France and Southern Germany.[5]

After he returned home, Braithwaite enrolled at Snow College. He also attended Weber State College, and Utah State University and played basketball and tennis there. Ultimately he earned a master's degree in physical education and counseling from the University of Michigan.[6] He turned down a job offer to be a physical education teacher and tennis coach from Utah State University to work at Manti High School in 1951.

In 1952 on July 18 he married Jane Anderson in the Manti Utah Temple. Together they had 7 children. Braithwaite was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of the most visible and supportive members of the Braithwaite Family Organization. He died in his home in 2010.[5]

Coaching career[edit]

In 37 years of coaching high school basketball, Braithwaite was never given a technical foul.[4]

Accomplishments and Honors[edit]

In 1999, Manti High School named its new gym and tennis courts after Braithwaite.[7] In 1989 he was inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.[8]


Braithwaite's philosophy appeared in coach's quarterly.[9] A poem of his appeared on the front page of The Washington Coach (the official publication of the Washington State Coaches Association) in fall 2002.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.aiaonline.org/story/uploads/NFHS_Award_of_Merit___Braithwaite_1148566289.pdf
  2. ^ "Torch bearers". Church News. 2002-02-02. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  3. ^ Doug Robinson (2010-04-14). "Wilbur Braithwaite's loss felt by many". Deseret News. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  4. ^ a b c http://www.sltrib.com (2010-04-12). "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b "WILBUR BRAITHWAITE Obituary: View WILBUR BRAITHWAITE's Obituary by Deseret News". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  6. ^ Jennings, Bruce (1994-09-10). "War-time pledge fulfilled in serving youth". Church News. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  7. ^ http://www.sltrib.com (2010-04-13). "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  8. ^ "Hall of Fame - Year by Year Inductions". NFHS. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  9. ^ Laster, Akilah (2006-06-28). "Braithwaite values impact on lives more than his victories". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  10. ^ http://www.washcoach.org/Archives/WSCA_Fall2002.pdf

External links[edit]