BasketballBig TenMissouri ValleyWAC

Long-time Illinois and New Mexico State head coach Lou Henson has passed away at 88

Lou Henson, the Hall of Fame coach best known for his stints at Illinois (1975-1996) and New Mexico State (1966-1975, 1997-2005), passed away over the weekend. He was 88 years old.

Henson is the all-time leader in wins with both the Illini (423-224) and Aggies (289-152), finishing his career with 779 total victories at all levels. He went to the NCAA Tournament 18 times, leading both teams to the NCAA Final Four (1970 & 1989). In 2015, Henson was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to college basketball.

He had to step away at NMSU during the 2004-05 season after getting diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy in 2005 and 2007, then again in 2014.

According to a statement released by the University of Illinois, Coach Henson passed away peacefully in his Champaign home Saturday.

“We have lost a role model, a friend, and a leader,” AD Josh Whitman said in the release. “Coach Henson may be gone, but the memories he provided us, and the legacy he created, will last forever.”


credit to Illinois Athletics for the image