Elmer Gross

Elmer Gross (1917-2007)

Teams coached: Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State record: 80-40 (.667)
Overall record: 80-40 (.667)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1952, 1954)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1954)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  1  (1954)
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1950-1954 Penn State
1945-1950 Penn State (asst)

Elmer Gross Facts

  • Dr. Elmer Gross
  • Born January 31, 1917
  • Died June 29, 2007
  • Hometown: Homestead, Pennsylvania
  • Alma Mater: Pennsylvania State University (BA, 1942; MA & PhD)
  • Gross graduated from Munhall HS (PA) and then played at Penn State for head coach John Lawther
    • Served as team captain in 1942, helping lead the Lions to their first ever NCAA Tournament
  • After getting his bachelor’s, Gross joined the US Army and served in France and Germany in WWII
    • Participated in the Allied invasion of Normandy (commonly known as D-Day)
    • Wounded at Saint-Lô in 1944; was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart
  • Returned to PSU to earn his master’s degree and begin his brief but successful coaching career
  • Spent five seasons as an assistant coach under Lawther before taking over as head coach in 1950
    • Went 80-40 in five seasons at the helm, going to the NCAA Tournament twice
    • Led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Final Four in 1954 before retiring from coaching
  • Gross earned his doctorate and worked as a full professor at Penn State for many years, retiring in 1978
  • Passed away in 2007 at the age of 90 near his nursing home in Sun City, Arizona
    • Survived by 3 daughters, 2 sons, 2 stepdaughters, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren

Elmer Gross Coaching Tree