Morgan Wootten is confirmed dead at the age of 88.
Morgan was best known as a American Hall of Fame high school basketball coach (DeMatha Catholic High School).
Deborah Simmons: “There’s a heck of a basketball team in heaven.” #BestOfWashTimes
“I’ve talked to figures with huge egos…Coach Wootten had no ego to be stroked.” @DeMathaCatholic and the…
“I’ve talked to figures with huge egos…Coach Wootten had no ego to be stroked.” @DeMathaCatholic and the…
Morgan Wootten: The Hidden Fuel of a Legendary Coach
The newsletter is out! Kobe Bryant; #SuperBowl potpourri; Hot Stove smorgasbord; remembering Morgan Wootten and mor…
#MorganWootten Remembered as Basketball Coaching Legend
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten @BiggBoss @OrmaxMedia…
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223789662097104898,2020-02-02 02:06:07 +0000,shubham08486633,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223785283449167872,2020-02-02 01:48:43 +0000,Aftabsh89399568,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223777058423287808,2020-02-02 01:16:02 +0000,Tiger19972,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223772385037258752,2020-02-02 00:57:27 +0000,Haniya23473719,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223772085362794496,2020-02-02 00:56:16 +0000,Ankit66831177,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten 1223771995625721856,2020-02-02 00:55:54 +0000,Rumana23301027,RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
RT @sandhu_navneet_: The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins. – Morgan Wootten
Morgan Wootten
Biographical details
Born(1931-04-21)April 21, 1931
Durham, North Carolina
DiedJanuary 21, 2020(2020-01-21) (aged 88)
Hyattsville, Maryland
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1956–2002DeMatha Catholic HS
Head coaching record
Overall1274–192
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
5 high school national (1962, 1965, 1968, 1978, 1984)
22 Washington, D.C. (1961–1966, 1968, 1970–1973, 1978, 1979, 1981–1984, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002)
33 WCAC (1961–1968, 1970–1976, 1978–1985, 1987, 1988, 1990–1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2000
Morgan Bayard Wootten (April 21, 1931 – January 21, 2020) was an American high school basketball coach for 46 seasons at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. He led the Stags to five national championships and 33 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) titles. In 2000, he was the third high school coach to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Contents
1 Early life
2 Coaching career
3 Personal life and family
4 Media
5 Head coaching record
6 References
Early life
Wootten was born in Durham, North Carolina on April 21, 1931, the son of a U.S. Navy officer. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and attended Gonzaga College High School and Montgomery Blair High School, from which he graduated in 1950.
Wootten enrolled at Montgomery College and in 1951 began coaching baseball, football, and basketball at St. Joseph’s Home and School for Boys, an orphanage in Washington, D.C. He transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park in 1953 and became the junior varsity basketball and football coach at St. John's College High School. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1956 with degrees in physical education and history.
Coaching career
In 1956, Wootten was hired as a history teacher and the coach of the football and basketball teams at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Led by star player John Austin, the basketball team won its first conference title in 1961 and the national high school championship in 1962. In 1965, Wootten made national headlines when his DeMatha team beat Lew Alcindor's Power Memorial Academy and ended its 71-game winning streak.
Although his football teams had won three league titles, Wootten decided to focus on basketball after the 1968 season. He continued to teach world history to every DeMatha freshman until reducing his class load in 1980.
When he retired in 2002, Wootten's career coaching record stood at 1,274-192. In 46 seasons as the head coach of DeMatha basketball, he won five high school national championships, 22 Washington, D.C. titles, and 33 WCAC championships. Wootten has the second most wins as a head coach in the history of boys high school basketball, behind Robert Hughes.
Wootten never had a losing record, with his worst performance coming in the 1957-58 season, when DeMatha went 17-11, which was also the only one of his teams to not have at least 20 wins. He had two perfect seasons, the first coming in 1977-78 (28-0) and the other in 1990-91 (30-0).
More than a dozen of Wootten's players went on to play in the NBA, including Adrian Dantley and Danny Ferry. Mike Brey, head coach of Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's basketball, also played under Wootten.
UCLA basketball coach John Wooden (1910–2010) described his admiration for Wootten when he said, "I know of no finer coach at any level – high school, college or pro. I stand in awe of him." In 2000, Wootten became the third high school coach to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the first to be admitted solely as a high school coach. His overall record at the time was 1,210 wins and 183 losses. Wootten was one of the founders of the McDonald's All-American Game, whose annual player of the year award is named in his honor.
During his coaching career at DeMatha, located just two miles (3 km) away from his alma mater, he received job offers from North Carolina State, Georgetown, and American, as well as interest from Duke, Wake Forest, and Virginia. Wootten turned down the offers, according to Sports Illustrated, because the Maryland job, which was not forthcoming, was the only college job he wanted.
Personal life and family
Wootten resided in University Park, Maryland with his wife, Kathy, whom he married in 1964. He had five children, Cathy, Carol, Tricia, Brendan, and Joe.
In 1996, Wootten nearly died because of a malfunctioning liver and was quickly rushed to the hospital for a liver transplant. Several years later, aged 75, one of his kidneys failed, and he received a transplant; the donor was his son, Joe.
Joe became a basketball coach at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. Wootten and his son both led one of the largest camps in the United States, Coach Wootten's Basketball Camp, held in Frostburg, Maryland at Frostburg State University and at Bishop O'Connell High School.
Wootten died January 21, 2020, at his home in Maryland, at the age of 88.
Media
Wootten co-authored two biographies with Bill Gilbert: From Orphans to Champions (1979), and A Coach for All Seasons (1997).
In 1992, Wootten wrote a manual for coaching, Coaching Basketball Successfully, with co-author Dave Gilbert. As second edition of the book was published in 2003, and a third edition in 2012, co-authored with Joe Wootten.
In 2017, the documentary film Morgan Wootten: The Godfather of Basketball was released. The film explores Wootten's coaching journey from a baseball coach at a small orphanage to the first high school basketball coach in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as his personal and family life. It was produced and directed by Bill Hayes, and features top coaches, players, and sports journalists, including Coach K, Roy Williams, Mike Brey, James Brown, John Feinstein and more.
Head coaching record
Season
Team
Overall
Conference
Standing
Postseason
Dematha Stags (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) (1956–2002)
1956-57
DeMatha
22-10
1957-58
DeMatha
17-11
1958-59
DeMatha
23–10
1959-60
DeMatha
22-7
1960-61
DeMatha
27-1
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1961-62
DeMatha
29-3
1st
High School National Champions
1962-63
DeMatha
36-4
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1963-64
DeMatha
27-2
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1964-65
DeMatha
28-1
1st
High School National Champions
1965-66
DeMatha
28-1
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1966-67
DeMatha
26-5
1967-68
DeMatha
27-1
1st
High School National Champions
1968-69
DeMatha
27-3
1969-70
DeMatha
28-3
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1970-71
DeMatha
29-2
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1971-72
DeMatha
30-1
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1972-73
DeMatha
30-1
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1973-74
DeMatha
27-5
1st
1974-75
DeMatha
26-5
1st
1975-76
DeMatha
28-5
1st
1976-77
DeMatha
29-4
1977-78
DeMatha
28-0
1st
High School National Champions
1978-79
DeMatha
28-3
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1979-80
DeMatha
27-4
1st
1980-81
DeMatha
28-2
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1981-82
DeMatha
28-3
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1982-83
DeMatha
27-4
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1983-84
DeMatha
29-2
1st
High School National Champions
1984-85
DeMatha
31-3
1st
1985-86
DeMatha
26-7
1986-87
DeMatha
28-6
1st
1987-88
DeMatha
30-3
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1988-89
DeMatha
27-5
1989-90
DeMatha
26-8
1st
1990-91
DeMatha
30-0
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1991-92
DeMatha
31-2
1st
1992-93
DeMatha
20-10
1993-94
DeMatha
28-4
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1994-95
DeMatha
26-7
1995-96
DeMatha
31-5
1st
1996-97
DeMatha
27-7
1997-98
DeMatha
34-1
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1998-99
DeMatha
28-4
1999-2000
DeMatha
28-5
2000-01
DeMatha
29-6
1st
2001-02
DeMatha
32-3
1st
Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
Total:
1274-192
      National champion  
      Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion  
      Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion
      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion
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