George Ivory (basketball)

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George Ivory
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamArkansas–Pine Bluff
Record132–222 (.373)
Biographical details
Born (1965-08-07) August 7, 1965 (age 53)
Jackson, Mississippi
Playing career
1984–1988Mississippi Valley State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991–1998Jackson State (Women's, asst.)
1998–2002Mississippi Valley State (asst.)
2002–2006Arkansas–Pine Bluff (asst.)
2006–2007Grambling State (asst.)
2007–2008Mississippi Valley State (asst.)
2008–presentArkansas–Pine Bluff
Head coaching record
Overall132–222 (.373)
Accomplishments and honors
SWAC Tournament Championship (2010)
SWAC Co-Player of the Year (1987)

George Ivory (born August 7, 1965) is the current head men's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He was appointed as head coach on March 27, 2008.[1] Previously, Ivory was an assistant at Mississippi Valley State University, his alma mater.

Ivory grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended Murrah High School, one of the top basketball schools in the country. He played at Murrah for three years, winning numerous awards prior to graduating in 1983.

After Ivory finished at Murrah High School, he went on to attend college at Mississippi Valley State University. While at MVSU Ivory was selected as Freshman of the Year, First Team All-SWAC, SWAC Tournament MVP, and Player of the Year in the conference. Ivory started all four years at Mississippi Valley State University, where he still ranks tops in scoring, steals, assist, minutes, and games played.

Upon graduating from Mississippi Valley State University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree, and after trying out professionally with the Chicago Bulls, Harlem Globetrotters, and Illinois Express, Ivory was drafted by the Wyoming Wildcatters of the CBA.

He later went back to college at Jackson State University to receive his master's degree in 1996 while working as a graduate assistant with the Lady Tigers for three years before becoming a full-time assistant in 1991–1998 under head coach Andrew Pennington.

JSU won two tournament championships, a regular-season championship and made one NCAA appearance. In fall 1998, Ivory accepted a similar position with Mississippi Valley State University as men's assistant coach under then head coach Lafayette Stribling, where they had several outstanding recruiting classes as well as several outstanding teams which competed for SWAC titles for consecutive years.

Ivory subsequently crossed the state line to become an assistant coach at UAPB in the fall of 2002 under then head coach Van Holt. Holt and staff led the Golden Lions to the finals of the SWAC Tournament in 2005–06.

In 2006–07, Ivory crossed another state line as he was hired as an assistant coach at Grambling State University under then Head Coach Larry Wright. In 2007–08 Ivory went back to his alma mater Mississippi Valley State University as an assistant coach under then head coach James Green, where they went on to win the SWAC Tournament Championship and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In the spring of 2008, Ivory was named the head coach of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Prior to the start of his first season the Golden Lions were picked 9th in the SWAC's preseason poll, but UAPB went on to finish in 4th place in the SWAC during their 2008-09 campaign. Arkansas-Pine Bluff also completed conference play with a winning record for the first time in school history.

The 2009–10 basketball season brought about unprecedented success for the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff men's basketball team. After starting the year 0-11, the Golden Lions finished the season with a remarkable run all the way to the NCAA tournament. The Golden Lions went 18-5 over the course of their last 23 games as they concluded the season with an 18-16 overall record. UAPB won the 2010 SWAC Basketball Tournament Championship, marking the schools’ first title in over four decades (1967). Arkansas-Pine Bluff followed their undefeated SWAC tourney run with a victory over the Winthrop Eagles in the NCAA Opening Round game, snapping a 17-year conference losing streak in the NCAA tournament.

The Golden Lions eventually faced the NCAA National Champion Duke University basketball team in the first round of the tournament. Arkansas-Pine Bluff was the only Division I institution from the state of Arkansas to qualify for the NCAA tournament. For his teams outstanding accomplishments on the court Ivory was named the 2010 HSRN National Coach of the Year, becoming the first coach from Arkansas-Pine Bluff to be awarded such honors. While head coach George Ivory is still attempting to bring major young talent into the Golden Lions men's basketball roster, he is still having a standout career as one of the best coaches in UAPB history. Following in his footsteps, his oldest son Jacob Ivory, a standout point guard on the Murrah High School basketball team, made his commitment to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He was announced a dandy dozen for the 2013–2014 season, meaning he was one of the top twelve players in the state of Mississippi. He averaged 14 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals per game last year. He was key to Murrah's 2013 MHSAA 6A title win. Ivory made the 2013 Clarion-Ledger All-Metro and All-State lists for basketball. In the Mississippi North-South All-Star Basketball Game played this summer, Ivory led the North team in scoring with 16 points.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Arkansas–Pine Bluff Golden Lions (SWAC) (2008–present)
2008–09 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 13–18 11–7 4th
2009–10 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 18–16 14–4 2nd NCAA 1st Round
2010–11 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 7–24 7–11 7th
2011–12 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 11–22 9–9 5th
2012–13 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 16–14 15–3 T–2nd
2013–14 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 13–18 11–7 4th
2014–15 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 12–20 9–9 T–5th
2015–16 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 8–25 6–12 T–7th
2016–17 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 7–25 6–12 T–8th
2017–18 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 14–21 12–6 T–2nd
2018–19 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 13–19 10–8 T–3rd
UAPB: 132–222 (.373) 110–88 (.556)
Total: 132–222 (.373)

      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


  1. ^ Associated Press. "Arkansas-Pine Bluff hires Miss. Valley State assistant Ivory as new coach.", March 27, 2008.