Norm Ellenberger

Norm Ellenberger (1932-2015)

Teams coached: Monmouth Fighting Scots, New Mexico Lobos
Monmouth (IL) record: 30-36 (.455)
New Mexico record: 134-62 (.684)
Overall record: 164-98 (.626)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1974, 1978)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1974)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  2  (1973, 1979)
  • WAC Regular Season Champion:  2  (1974, 1978)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2012 New York Liberty (asst)
2000-2003 Chicago Bulls (asst)
1990-2000 Indiana (asst)
1986-1990 UTEP (asst)
1982-1985 Las Vegas/Albuquerque Silvers
1972-1979 New Mexico
1967-1972 New Mexico (asst)
1964-1967 Monmouth (IL)

Norm Ellenberger Facts

  • Norman Dale Ellenberger
  • Born August 2, 1932
  • Died November 15, 2015
  • Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Alma Mater: Butler University (BA, 1955)
  • Played for Hall of Fame coach Tony Hinkle at Butler; in addition to basketball, he also played football and baseball
    • Once pitched a no-hitter for the Bulldogs and spent some time within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization
    • Inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012
  • Taught and coached at New Haven HS (IN) for seven years from 1957-64
  • Hired in 1964 to be the head coach at D-III Monmouth College (IL), going 30-36 over three seasons at the helm
    • Also coached football for one year (2-6) and baseball for two years (21-14) at the school
  • First arrived at New Mexico in 1967, spending five seasons as an assistant under Bob King
    • Took over for King as the head coach in 1972, leading the Lobos for the next seven seasons
    • Went to two NCAA Tournaments and two NITs during his tenure
    • Involved in a recruiting scandal later known as “Lobogate,” involving academic and financial violations
    • Ellenberger was indicting and later acquitted on seven federal charges, though was later convicted on 21 state fraud charges and given probation and a deferred sentence
  • A fixture in the Albuquerque area, Ellenberger remained such after getting removed from position in 1979; he owned a restaurant in town and often appeared in television ads promoting other local businesses
    • Also coached the Albuquerque Silvers, a professional CBA team that moved to town from Las Vegas in 1983
  • Returned to coaching in 1986, spending four seasons working under Hall of Famer Don Haskins at UTEP
  • Moved back to his home state in 1990, joining the coaching staff of another Hall of Famer, Bob Knight, at Indiana
    • Ellenberger was in Bloomington for ten seasons and his tenure included ten NCAA Tournaments and one Final Four (1992)
  • After Knight was let go in 2000, Ellenberger joined the Chicago Bulls’ staff as an assistant under Tim Floyd and Bill Cartwright
  • Coached at boys and girls basketball the high school level in Wisconsin for many years at the end of his career
    • In between HS stints, served as an assistant to John Whisenant with the New York Liberty of the WNBA
  • Passed away in 2015 at the age of 83 in his cabin in Watersmeet, Michigan

Norm Ellenberger Coaching Tree

  • Michael Cooper (Atlanta Dream, USC (w), Los Angeles Sparks, Albuquerque Thunderbirds, Denver Nuggets)
  • Kevin McKenna (Indiana State, Omaha, Sioux Falls Skyforce)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and Division III levels