Gene Bartow

Gene Bartow (1930-2012)

Teams coached: Valparaiso Crusaders, Memphis State Tigers, Illinois Fighting Illini, UCLA Bruins, UAB Blazers
Valparaiso record^: 93-69 (.574)
Memphis record: 82-32 (.718)
Illinois record: 8-18 (.308)
UCLA record: 52-9 (.852)
UAB record: 368-205 (.642)
Overall record^: 650-354 (.647)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1978-1996 UAB
1975-1977 UCLA
1974-1975 Illinois
1970-1974 Memphis State
1964-1970 Valparaiso
1961-1964 Central Missouri State

Gene Bartow Facts

  • Bobby Gene Bartow
  • Born August 18, 1930
  • Died January 3, 2012
  • Hometown: Browning, Missouri
  • Alma Mater: Truman State University
  • Started coaching at the HS level, winning 145 games in six seasons with Shelbina HS and St Charles HS (both in Missouri)
  • Spent nine seasons at the Division II level, three at Central Missouri State and six at (then D-II) Valparaiso
  • Was NCAA Runner-Up in 1973 with Memphis State (now Memphis); it was the Tigers’ first ever trip to the Final Four
  • After four years at Memphis and one at Illinois, Bartow was hired by UCLA to replace legendary head coach John Wooden
  • Left UCLA in 1977 to become the athletic director and head basketball coach at UAB
    • Tasked with building the athletic program at UAB, which started as an independent for the 1978-79 season before joining the Sun Belt in 1979
    • The Blazers quickly grew into a national contender, reaching the Sweet 16 in 1981 in the program’s third ever season
    • Bartow’s teams reached the NCAA Tournament nine times during his eighteen year tenure
  • Remained the AD at UAB until 2000, but turned the basketball program over to his son – Murry Bartow – in 1996
    • Murry played for his father from 1980-85 and served as one of his assistant coaches from 1989-96
    • In 1997, UAB changed the name of UAB Arena to Bartow Arena in his honor
  • Every year since 2013, has awarded the Gene Bartow Award to a coach recognized for their overall contributions to the game

Gene Bartow Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and Division II levels; note that Valparaiso was a D-II program until 1978