MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2004
Head Basketball Coach Hugh Durham Makes NCAA History
Feb. 16, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University basketball coach Hugh Durham has made history once again. Durham, who ranks ninth among active Division I coaches with 616 career victories, recently became the first coach in NCAA history to be the all-time winningest coach at three different Division I schools when he posted his 89th career win as the Dolphins' head coach. He already holds the record for best winning percentage at Florida State with a 230-95 (.708) record and is the all-time winningest coach in the 98-year history of the University of Georgia basketball with 297 wins. Durham is in his seventh season at Jacksonville, his 36th season overall as a collegiate head coach with a career record of 616-413 (.599), including an 89-103 (.463) mark at JU. He recently passed former Dolphin head coach Bob Wenzel with his 89th Division I win and is tied with Rollie Rourke for the longest tenure - seven seasons - of any coach in the 56-year history of Jacksonville University basketball.
Durham has restored pride back in the JU basketball program as the Dolphins have gone from the doormat of the Atlantic Sun to one of the top programs in the league. Entering this season, Jacksonville ranked third among all league schools with 49 victories over the last three seasons, including to back-to-back 18-win seasons, the most wins in consecutive years in more than 15 years for Jacksonville. Despite entering this season with the most inexperienced team in Division I - JU returned just one senior, no starters and just three reserves - the Dolphins have battled back to win six of their last eight games and are 12-12 overall (7-10 A-Sun).
"Any time you accomplish something of this nature, it encompasses everybody in the program," says Durham, who also serves as JU's Director of Athletics. "I'm happy for the players and the coaches because of how hard we have battled this season, despite the odds stacked against us."
Off the court, Durham has been just as effective at Jacksonville. Since his arrival prior to the 1997-98 season, 17 players who have completed their eligibility have graduated, with two more expected to earn their degrees this year.
The list of accomplishments is endless for Durham, who is one of just 11 Division I coaches to lead two different schools to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State, 1972 & Georgia, 1983), but the ONLY coach who led both teams to their ONLY Final Four appearance. Durham has led his teams to 15 postseason appearances, including eight NCAA tournament berths, and has earned five conference coach-of-the-year honors. He is also one of only five coaches to win 200 games at two different schools: Ralph Miller (Oregon & Wichita St.), Norm Sloan (Florida & N.C. State), Jim Calhoun (Northeastern, UConn) and Lou Henson (New Mexico State & Illinois).
A native of Louisville, Ky., Durham began his coaching career as an assistant to long-time Florida State coach Bud Kennedy in 1959. This followed a standout playing career at FSU, where he still decorates record books in a dozen different categories after scoring 1,381 points during his three-year playing career. Durham's 43-point performance against Stetson in 1957 still ranks second all-time at FSU for a single game. The Seminoles' annual Team MVP award was re-named the "Hugh Durham Most Valuable Player" award in 1999. He coached at FSU from 1966-78, before going to Georgia, where he coached from 1978-95. Durham became the Dolphins' head coach in March of 1997.
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