Fred Lewis

Fred Lewis (1921-1994)

Teams coached: Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Syracuse Orange, Sacramento State Hornets
Southern Miss record^: 89-38 (.701)
Syracuse record: 91-57 (.615)
Sacramento State record^: 7-23 (.233)
Overall record^: 187-118 (.613)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  1  (1966)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1966)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  2  (1964, 1967)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1984-1985 Sacramento State
1962-1968 Syracuse
1957-1962 Southern Miss

Fred Lewis Facts

  • Frederick Bott Lewis, Jr.
  • Born January 6, 1921
  • Died December 27, 1994
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
  • Alma Mater: Eastern Kentucky University (BA, 1946)
  • Started his playing career at Long Island in his hometown of Brooklyn , where he played for Hall of Famer Clair Bee
    • Was part of the Blackbirds team that won the NIT in 1942
    • Left school in 1943 to join the Marine Corps, serving the country during World War II
  • Returned to the States in 1945 and spent the season playing for Rom Rankin at Eastern Kentucky
    • Played professionally in the BAA/NBA for seven years, spending time on the Sheboyhan Red Skins, Birmingham Skyhawks, Indianapolis Kautskys/Jets, Baltimore Bullets, Philadelphia Warriors, Hartford Hurricanes and Washington Capitols
    • Served as a player-coach for seven games during the 1947-48 season with the Birmingham Skyhawks
    • Coaches he played for include Dutch Dehnert, Doxie Moore, Buddy Jeannette and Eddie Gottlieb,
  • Started coaching in 1950, spending four years as head coach at Amityville HS (NY) where he went 63-40 overall
  • Became the head coach at then-NAIA Southern Miss in 1957, leading the Golden Eagles for five years
  • Left for Syracuse in 1962, where he went 91-57 over six seasons at the helm
    • Reached the NIT twice and the NCAA Tournament once in 1966, the program’s second-ever bid
    • Later in his tenure, Lewis was very much at odds with SU admins who he perceived favored football over basketball
    • Among those he coached was Naismith and College Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Bing (1963-66)
  • Resigned in 1968 to move West and become the athletic director at Sacramento State
    • Coached the Hornets for one season (1984-85) going just 7-23 at the Division II level
  • Remained in Sacramento after retirement; passed away in 1994 at the age of 73

Fred Lewis Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I, Division II and NAIA levels; Southern Miss competed in the NAIA during Lewis’ tenure and Sac State was still Division III in 1984