Jim Phelan

Jim Phelan (1929-2021)

Teams coached: Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers
Mount St. Mary’s record^: 830-524 (.613)
Overall record^: 830-542 (.613)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1995, 1999)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  1  (1996)
  • NEC Regular Season Champion:  1  (1996)
  • Mason-Dixon (Div II) Conference Champion:  3  (1961, 1962, 1969)
  • NEC Tournament Champion:  2  (1995, 1999)
  • NCAA Division II National Championships:  1  (1962)
  • NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances:  14  (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987)
  • NCAA Division II Tournament Final Four:  5  (1957, 1961, 1962, 1981, 1985)

Awards:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1954-2003 Mount St. Mary’s
1953-1954 Mount St. Mary’s (asst)

Jim Phelan Facts

  • James Joseph Phelan
  • Born March 19, 1929
  • Died June 15, 2021
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Alma Mater: La Salle University (BA, 1951)
  • Phelan played at La Salle College HS in his hometown of Philadelphia and went on to play for Ken Loeffler‘s La Salle Explorers
    • Drafted in the 8th Round (77th overall) of the 1951 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia Warriors; played briefly for the Warriors and then in 1954 played in the Eastern League for the Pottstown Packers
  • Started his Mount St. Mary’s career in 1953, first arriving as an assistant to Bill Clark before getting promoted to head coach a year later
    •  For the first 24 years at the helm, the Mountaineers were members of the NCAA College Division (now Division II)
    • The program transitioned to D-I in 1988 and by 1995, his team had won the NEC Tournament and earned its first-ever D-I NCAAT bid
    • Phelan retired following the 2002-03 season after 49 years at the helm, with 830 wins between the D-I and D-II years
      • Along the way became the 2nd man to coach in 1,200 NCAA games and later became the 4th ever to win 800 games
  • The NEC named the NEC Jim Phelan Coach of the Year award in his honor and in 2009, 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
  • Phelan passed away in June 2021 at the age of 92; survived by his wife, Dottie, their five children and ten grandchildren

Jim Phelan Coaching Tree

 

^ overall and MSMU records include seasons at both the NCAA Division I and Division II (formerly College Division) levels