Gus Ganakas

Gus Ganakas (1926-2019)

Teams coached: Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State record: 89-84 (.514)
Overall record: 89-84 (.514)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1998-2000 Michigan State (special asst. to the HC)
1969-1976 Michigan State
1966-1969 Michigan State (asst)

Gus Ganakas Facts

  • Augustus George Ganakas
  • Born July 3, 1926
  • Died January 11, 2019
  • Hometown: Mount Morris, New York
  • Alma Mater: Michigan State University (BA, 1949 & MA, 1950)
  • A New York-native, Ganakas served in the US Marine Corps during WWII then graduated from Michigan State
  • Early in his career, he coached and taught at East Lansing HS (MI); won a state championship in 1958
  • Began working at MSU in a fund-raising capacity in 1964 and then became one of John E. Benington‘s assistant coaches with the basketball program in 1966
  • In 1969, following Benington’s sudden and tragic death, Ganakas became the Spartans’ head coach
    • Led Sparty for seven seasons, compiling an overall record of 89-84
    • Finished above .500 most seasons but never placed higher that 4th in the Big Ten; dismissed in 1976
  • Spent 32 years as a radio analyst with the Spartan Sports Network, continuing to work closely with the school and program
    • From 1976 to 1988, Ganakas was also the assistant AD at Michigan State
    • Served as a special assistant to head coach Tom Izzo for two seasons (1998-2000)
  • Member of both the Greater Lansing Area Sports HOF and the East Lansing HS HOF
  • Passed away in 2019 at the age of 92; health issues had forced him to step out of the radio booth two years earlier

Gus Ganakas Coaching Tree