Ozzie Cowles

Ozzie Cowles (1899-1997)

Teams coached: Carleton Knights, River Falls State Falcons, Dartmouth Big Green, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Carleton record: 67-26 (.720)
River Falls State record^: 32-28 (.533)
Dartmouth record: 147-47 (.758)
Michigan record: 28-14 (.667)
Minnesota record: 147-93 (.613)
Overall record^: 421-208 (.669)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1948-1959 Minnesota
1946-1948 Michigan
1944-1946 Dartmouth
1936-1943 Dartmouth
1932-1936 River Falls State
1924-1930 Carleton
1923-1924 Iowa State Teachers College (asst)

Ozzie Cowles Facts

  • Osbourne Bryan Cowles
  • Born August 25, 1899
  • Died August 29, 1997
  • Hometown: Browns Valley, Minnesota
  • Alma Mater: Carleton College (BA, 1922)
  • The Minnesota-native played basketball, baseball and football at Carleton College in Northfield, MN
  • Started his coaching career right after graduating, serving as the head basketball coach at Rochester HS (MN) for one year
  • Was an assistant football and basketball coach from 1923-24 at Iowa State Teachers (now Northern Iowa) before returning to alma mater Carleton to coach the Knights’ basketball team for six seasons
  • Later worked at River Falls State (now UW-River Falls) in Wisconsin, spending four seasons as the head basketball coach and three seasons each coaching the football and baseball teams
    • Also served as the school’s athletic director from 1932-36
  • Began a long tenure as the head basketball coach at Dartmouth in 1936, leading the Big Green to three straight NCAA Tournaments (1941-43) including an NCAA Runner-up finish in 1942
  • Coached at Michigan for two seasons, including one Big Ten title and NCAA trip, before returning to his home state and finishing his coaching career at Minnesota
    • Was the Golden Gophers’ head coach for 11 seasons, winning 147 (.758) of his games but never reaching the postseason or winning a conference title
    • Resigned in 1959 at age 57 following two straight sub-.500 seasons
  • Passed away in 1997 just days after turning 98; survived by his third wife, Georgia, daughter, Roxanne, and a step-daughter, Janet
    • Had one son, David, with first wife, Luella; later married Edris

Ozzie Cowles Coaching Tree

  • Bob Harrison (Harvard, Kenyon)
  • Ernie McCoy (Michigan)
  • Joe Vancisin (Yale)


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