Jim Kerwin

Jim Kerwin (1941-2021)

Teams coached: Western Illinois Leathernecks
Western Illinois record: 134-175 (.434)
Overall record^: 134-175 (.434)

Career Accomplishments:

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


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1992-2003 Western Illinois
1990-1992 Kansas State (asst)
1984-1990 Oklahoma (asst)
1980-1984 Seminole State CC
1978-1980 Northern Oklahoma CC

Jim Kerwin Facts

  • James Kerwin
  • Born March 23, 1941
  • Died August 13, 2021
  • Hometown: Long Branch, New Jersey
  • Alma Mater: Tulane University (BA, 1963)
  • After graduating from Croydon Hall HS (NJ), Kerwin played for at Tulane for head coach Clifford Wells
    • Was a three-year starter and was First-Team All-SEC in 1962; drafted by the Knicks in 1963 but never played in the NBA
    • Played four seasons with the Phillips 66ers, an amateur (AAU) team based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • First coaching jobs were in Oklahoma, working at Caney HS from 1968-70 and Stillwater HS from 1973-78
  • Started his college coaching career at the JUCO level, spending two seasons at Northern Oklahoma CC and four at Seminole State CC (FL)
  • Joined Billy Tubbs‘ staff at Oklahoma in 1984, working with the Sooners for the next six seasons
  • Left for Kansas State in 1990, spending two seasons as an assistant under new Wildcats’ head coach Dana Altman
  • Hired in 1992 to be the head coach at Western Illinois, leading the Leathernecks for the eleven seasons
    • Went 134-175 overall, highlighted by five-straight winning seasons from 1994-99; named Summit (MCC) COY in 1999
    • Resigned in 2003 citing health concerns; has the fourth-most coaching wins in program history
  • Moved back to Oklahoma in 2003 then later to Arkansas; passed away in August 2021 at the age of 81
    • Survived by his wife (Gayle), daughter (Kari), son (Kyle), three grandchildren, two sisters, and younger brother

Jim Kerwin Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only