Herb Magee Earns Win Number 1000

herb magee lecturing at camp
Relief. That’s the feeling that ran through Herb Magee Saturday when the final buzzer sounded. His Philadelphia University Rams had just beaten Post University by a score of 80-60, in a game that held a little more significance than just an ordinary regular season match up. With this win, Coach Magee earned his 1,000th win as an NCAA coach. After coming short of 1,000 wins on Wednesday, Coach Magee said he was relieved to reach this milestone so he and his team could move on and focus on the big picture, conference play.

For years now, Herb Magee and Philadelphia basketball have been synonymous with one another. While Division 1 schools like Villanova, Temple or St. Joe’s are often referred to as “Philly’s team,” no one has had a longer tenure as a coach than Coach Magee. In fact, Magee, who is now in his 48th season on the sidelines of Philly U, has coached more years in Philadelphia than Jay Wright, Fran Dunphy and Phil Martelli have combined at their respective schools.

Magee’s tenure as Ram’s head coach has been nothing short of spectacular. He has amassed a record of 1000-391, a 71.8% winning percentage, and has led the Rams to 27 NCAA tournaments, 11 regional finals, four quarter-finals and one National Championship.

Magee graduated from Philly U, then known as Philadelphia Textile, a student-athlete. As a player, he scored 2,235 career points and helped his team win 75 games in his four years. When senior year rolled around, Magee didn’t have any plans post graduation, but he knew he wanted to stay around basketball. A position was created for him at Philly U, the first of its kind: assistant coach.

The job required Magee to do some other jobs around campus, such as teaching gym class, but he didn’t mind so long as it meant being on the sidelines. Four years later, Magee was named head coach, replacing one of his mentors and former college coach Walter “Bucky” Harris, and has been there ever since. He has developed an “allegiance” to the University and loves coaching the players that come through those doors. “I love to teach young men not just about basketball, but about life itself.” Magee said.

Magee gave credit to a lot of people for making him the coach he is today; there were a few people he learned from as he grew in the coaching world. Aside from his college coach, Magee gave praise to the likes of Jack McKinney, as well as Jack Ramsay, who presented Magee in 2011 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and who Magee calls “a hero.” He also says he learned a lot from watching Hall of Fame coaches Dean Smith, Bob Knight and Tom Izzo.

Herb Magee and Dr. Jack Ramsay shake hands at the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (photo from  redeyechicago.com)

Herb Magee and Dr. Jack Ramsay shake hands at the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (photo from redeyechicago.com)

Magee is not only a staple to Philadelphia and Philly U, but he has also become a regular at Hoop Group camps in the Pocono Mountains. “I just get in the car and the car knows where to go,” Magee joked. When reminiscing about his first lecture at the then Pocono Invitational Camp, he remembers not knowing what to talk about. “I’ll talk about anything.” he said. On that particular day, Magee decided to lecture the campers on shooting, and he has never lectured about anything else since.
herb magee lecturing at camp 2

Bob Hurley, another Hall of Fame Coach who is synonymous with winning, loyalty and the Hoop Group, had a message for Coach Magee: “Thousands of campers have had the benefit of working with the foremost shooting instructor in the country, who also happens to be a great coach, at camp over these many summers in the Pocono Mountains. And his 1,000 wins at Philadelphia University is a testament to his brilliance as a coach. Welcome to the 1,000 win club and let us both shoot for 2,000.”

Congratulations to Coach Magee on the monumental achievement in his already decorated coaching career. You have been a tremendous coach and teacher to players of all ages for years now and we cannot wait to have you back in the Poconos! And a good luck to the Philadelphia University Rams during the rest of the season!

Other testimonials about Coach Magee, from his website

“I learned to shoot and my players learned to shoot from Coach Magee and his drills. He is the best shooting instructor there is!” – Jay Wright, Villanova University Head Coach.

“He is the best shooting coach I have ever seen.” – John Calipari, Kentucky University Head Coach

“Herb Magee is synonymous with basketball.” – Charles Barkley, 11 time NBA All-Star

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