Fred Snowden

Fred Snowden (c. 1936-1994)

Teams coached: Arizona Wildcats
Arizona record: 167-108 (.607)
Overall record: 167-108 (.607)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1976, 1977)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1976)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • NCIT Appearances:  1  (1975)
  • WAC Regular Season Champion:  1  (1976)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1972-1982 Arizona
1967-1972 Michigan (asst)

Fred Snowden Facts

  • Frederick Snowden
  • Born c. 1936
  • Died January 17, 1994
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
  • Alma Mater: Wayne State University (BA, 1958)
  • Born in Brewton, AL to a sharecropper father and moved with his mother to Detroit at age 6
    • Graduated from Northwestern HS and attended Wayne State, both in Detroit
  • Started coaching at his alma mater, Northwestern HS (MI), first as the JV coach then varsity
  • Became an assistant coach at Michigan under Dave Strack in 1967 and remained on staff for a total of five seasons, the last four under head coach Johnny Orr
  • In 1972, Snowden was hired by Strack – who had just been hired as athletic director – to be the head coach at Arizona; became the first African-American head coach of a major university (second ever in Division I)
    • Went 167-108 during his ten years as head coach, going to the NCAA Tournament twice and the second iteration of the NCIT (finished as Runner-up to Drake)
    • Won the WAC title in 1976 then coached the program in their transition to the Pac-10 in 1978
    • Resigned after the 1981-82 season amidst a “slush fund” scandal, though it was later found that Snowden himself had not acted improperly
    • Served as special assistant to the athletic director (Strack) in from 1982-83
    • Inducted into the Arizona Athletics Sports Hall of Fame in 1988
      • Also inducted into the Pima County (AZ) Sports Hall of Fame in 2009
  • Worked in the private and non-profit sectors after leaving coaching, including a stint as a VP with Baskin-Robbins
  • Suffered a heart attack in Washington DC in January 1994 and passed away
  • Along with his wife, Maya, had one son and one daughter

Fred Snowden Coaching Tree

  • coming soon