Doc Carlson

Doc Carlson (1894-1964)

Teams coached: Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh record: 366-249 (.595)
Overall record: 366-249 (.595)

Career Accomplishments:


  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 1959)
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1922-1953 Pittsburgh

Doc Carlson Facts

  • Henry Clifford Carlson
  • Born July 4, 1894
  • Died November 1, 1964
  • Hometown: Murray City, Ohio
  • Alma Mater: University of Pittsburgh (BS, 1918 & MD, 1920)
  • Born in Ohio, Carlson attended Bellefonte Academy (PA) where he played football, baseball and basketball
  • Went on to earn nine letters at Pitt – three in basketball, two in baseball and four in football
    • Played on the 1916 Pitt football team that was crowned national champions and was an All-American in 1917
    • On the basketball court, Carlson played for head coach George Flint
  • Got his medical degree from Pitt in 1920 (hence the nickname “Doc”) and then played one season of professional football
  • Returned to Pitt in 1922 to be the Panthers’ basketball coach, a title he held for 31 years
    • Went 366-249 during his time at the helm, reaching the NCAA Final Four in 1941 and winning five EIC titles
    • The first half of Carlson’s coaching career was in the pre-NCAA Tournament era – the Panthers were retroactively named the National Champions by the Helms Foundation for both the 1927-28 and 1929-30 seasons
    • In addition to coaching, Carlson was a practicing physician at the Carnegie Steel Company and in 1932 was named Pitt’s director of student health services (a position he kept until his 1953 retirement)
  • Retired in 1953 but remained in the Pittsburgh area for the rest of his life
  • Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 and the inaugural 2006 class of the College Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Passed away in 1964 at the age of 70, in his home in Ligonier, PA

Doc Carlson Coaching Tree

  • coming soon