Howard Cann

Howard Cann (1895-1992)

Teams coached: NYU Violets
NYU record: 409-232 (.638)
Overall record: 409-232 (.638)

Career Accomplishments:


  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 1968)
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1923-1958 NYU

Howard Cann Facts

  • Howard Goodsell Cann
  • Born October 11, 1895
  • Died December 18, 1992
  • Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Alma Mater: New York University (BS, 1920)
  • Attended Barringer HS (NJ) and the High School of Commerce in NYC before going on to NYU
    • His father, Frank, was the director of physical education at NYU and one-time football coach
    • Was the leading scorer of the basketball team and captain of the football team
      • Played for head basketball coaches Billy Lush, Harry Haring and Ed Thorp
    • Temporarily left school in 1917 to serve in the US Navy during World War I
      • His younger brother, Tedford, earned the Medal of Honor his service as an officer in the Naval Reserve
    • Competed in the shot put at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, finishing in 8th
  • Returned to NYU to coach the basketball team in 1923, leading the Violets for the next 35 years
    • Went 409-232 overall and claimed five Metro NY Conference titles
    • Appeared in four NITs (was Runner-up in 1948) and three NCAA Tournaments (was Runner-up in 1945)
    • His 1933-34 team finished an undefeated 16-0 and then a year later went 18-1; the 1934-35 team was retroactively named National Champions by the Helms Foundation and Premo-Porretta
    • Spent two years as the NYU head football coach, going 7-7-1 overall
    • Retired from coaching in 1958 after spending his entire career at NYU
      • NYU’s athletic program disbanded in 1971 due to budget and returned in 1983 to competition in Division III
  • Inducted into the Naismith Basketball HOF in 1968 and was in the inaugural 2006 class of the National College Basketball HOF
  • Along with his wife, Janet, had one son, Howard, Jr.

Howard Cann Coaching Tree

  • Ben Carnevale (Navy, North Carolina)
  • Satch Sanders (Harvard)
  • Dolph Schayes (Buffalo Braves, Philadelphia 76ers)