Jim Phelan, a longtime head coach who spent 49 seasons at the helm at Mount St. Mary’s, passed away on Tuesday, the school announced. He was 92 years old. Phelan took over in 1954 when The Mount was still in the College Division (D-II) and won 830 games at both the D-II and D-I levels with the Mountaineers.
A College Basketball Hall of Famer, Phelan went to 16 NCAA Tournaments (14x D-II and 2x D-I) and won the NCAA D-II National Championship in 1962.
“His friendship and mentorship were a true gift in my life,” current Mountaineers’ head coach Dan Engelstad said in a statement. ” will miss our lunches, his laugh, and his storytelling. But I have no doubt that his memory, his LEGACY, will continue to live on for generations to come in the players that he coached, the coaches that he mentored, and at Mount St. Mary’s University. The Mount is so lucky you were ours.”
The NEC named the NEC Jim Phelan Coach of the Year award in his honor and in 2009 and CollegeInsider renamed its annual National COY honor the Jim Phelan Award.The court at Mount St. Mary’s is known as Jim Phelan Court and features an image of his signature bowtie on each end.
He is survived by his wife, Dottie, their five children and ten grandchildren.
credit to Mount St. Mary’s Athletics for the image