By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Jim Calhoun retired as the head men’s basketball coach at Connecticut earlier this year, there was a changing of the guard at the top of a pretty cool list.
Calhoun and UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma had been the winningest active men’s and women’s coaching tandem at one school across all NCAA divisions. But with Calhoun’s departure, UConn has been bounced from the top spot, and taking over is the Division II Philadelphia University duo of Herb Magee and Tom Shirley.
The two veteran coaches have combined for 1,571 wins (Magee 942 and Shirley 629).
Shirley, in his 32nd season as a head coach (24th at Philadelphia University), talks about how he learned about this new status.
“If you know our president, Dr.(Stephen) Spinelli, he is a hoops junkie and he keeps track of all those things,” Shirley tells KYW Newsradio. “He was anticipating Jim Calhoun’s retirement and ‘tweeting’ out that that would be the case. So when it came true, we didn’t hear it from the normal sports circles, we heard it from the president’s office.”
Listen To Podcast With Coach Tom Shirley:
Being at the top of a win list is nothing new for the legendary Magee, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Now in his 46th season as head coach, all spent at his alma mater Philadelphia University, Magee is the winningest men’s coach in NCAA history, and proud of this latest accomplishment.
“Probably a credit to the programs,” Magee says. “With the school that we have, we have the ability to recruit here because it is such a great place to go to school. But it also is the fact that I’ve been coaching for 46 years and Tom for (32). And we’ve been consistent winners, both of us. Tom averages 20 wins a year and we’ve been averaging 20 wins a year. So when you do that, you put the years combined to it, you’re going to add up to a ton of wins. And we’ve got a lot of wins.”
Listen To Podcast With Coach Herb Magee:
The North Carolina duo of Roy Williams (men) and Sylvia Hatchell (women) are second on the active wins list behind the Philly U pair.
Herb Magee’s men return to the court Saturday afternoon to battle Molloy on campus. Tom Shirley’s women take on Mercy on Saturday at West Chester.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.