Jim Phelan, Mount St. Mary's Legendary Head Coach and HOFer, Dies at Age 92

Adam WellsJune 16, 2021

National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Phelan talks to attendees during a press conference before the ceremony Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, in Kansas City, Mo. Other 2008 inductees include Billy Packer, Charles Barkley, Danny Manning, Noland Richardson,  Arnie Ferrin and Dick Vitale. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
AP Photo/Ed Zurga

College Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Phelan died on Tuesday at the age of 92.  

Mount St. Mary's University, where Phelan spent 49 seasons as head coach, announced he died at home in his sleep:

Mount Athletics @MountAthletics

We are deeply saddened to share that legendary @MountHoops coach Jim Phelan passed away peacefully in his sleep at home last night.<br><br>You will be greatly missed Coach! pic.twitter.com/rNyZXXpYno

Phelan played three seasons at La Salle before becoming the No. 77 overall pick by the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1951 NBA draft. 

After playing four games in the NBA and spending time with the Pottstown Packers in the Eastern League, Phelan moved into the coaching ranks. 

Phelan began his coaching career at Mount St. Mary's as an assistant under Bill Clark for the 1953-54 season. The Pennsylvania native was promoted to head coach the following year. He remained with the Mountaineers through the 2002-03 season. 

Over the course of his 49 years at Mount St. Mary's, Phelan won 830 games and the 1962 Division II national championship with a 58-57 victory over Sacramento State. 

The Mountaineers made two appearances in the NCAA Division I tournament under Phelan in 1995 and 1999. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.