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Johnny Orr (basketball, born 1927)
|Born||(1927-06-10)June 10, 1927|
|Died||December 30, 2013(2013-12-30) (aged 86)
Des Moines, Iowa
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school||Taylorville (Taylorville, Illinois)|
|BAA draft||1949 / Round: 2 / Pick: 20th overall|
|Selected by the St. Louis Bombers|
|1949–1950||St. Louis Bombers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
John Michael Orr (June 10, 1927 – December 30, 2013) was an American basketball player and coach, best known as the head coach of men's basketball at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan, and at Iowa State University. In the 1975–76 season, Orr was named National Coach of the Year.
Early life and playing career
Orr was born in Taylorville, Illinois or Yale, Kansas and grew up in Taylorville during the Great Depression. Orr attended Taylorville High School under coach Dolph Stanley and in his senior year (1944) led the Tornadoes to a state championship and a 45–0 record, the first team to ever finish a season undefeated in the Illinois High School Association's history. In 2007, Orr was voted one of the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament," recognizing his superior performance in his appearance in the tournament. After high school Orr went to the University of Illinois and was the youngest freshman to compete in three sports. After joining the United States Navy for the end of World War II, Orr returned to the college game at Beloit College. This reunited him with his high school coach Dolph Stanley, who had come to Beloit College as athletic director, head basketball and football coach.
Orr was initially drafted in 1948 BAA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers of the Basketball Association of America, the precursor to the NBA. Orr did not play for the Lakers, and was again drafted the next year in the 2nd round by the St. Louis Bombers. In 1950, Orr played 21 games for the Bombers before moving to the Waterloo Hawks for 13 more games.
In 1951, Orr was named as head coach at Dubuque Senior High School in Dubuque, Iowa, holding the position until 1959. In 1959, Orr joined the collegiate ranks, becoming an assistant coach at Wisconsin.
In 1968 Orr was named head coach at Michigan, a position he would hold for 12 seasons. His 1973–74 team made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament and Orr was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. In 1976, Michigan was the NCAA tournament runner-up (to the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers) and Orr was named National Coach of the Year. Orr is the second winningest coach in Michigan history with 209 wins.
Orr left Michigan to become the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones in 1980, a program that hadn't participated in an NCAA tournament since the 1940's. Orr would go on lead the team to six NCAA Tournaments in 14 seasons. The surprise move to Iowa State in 1980 came about when the Iowa State athletic director called to inquire about Orr's assistant, Bill Frieder. When Orr learned how much Iowa State was willing to pay Frieder, Orr negotiated the job for himself. Iowa State initially paid Orr $45,000 annually compared to his $33,665 salary at Michigan. Frieder then would succeed Orr at Michigan. In Orr's fourth season in Ames, Orr led the Cyclones to the 1984 NIT–only the second postseason appearance of any sort in school history. The following season, he led the Cyclones to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 40 years. The following season, Orr's Cyclones reached the Sweet Sixteen of the 1986 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament with a second round victory over the number five ranked team in the nation, Michigan. Orr claims this was the greatest victory of his career. Orr led Iowa State to four more NCAA tournament berths before retiring from Iowa State in 1994. He remains the winningest coach in Iowa State history with 218 wins.
Orr's Iowa State teams won 76.7% of their games at Hilton Coliseum. Under Orr, attendance numbers more than doubled from the 6,000 fan average that preceded his arrival. The school band would play the theme from The Tonight Show as Orr entered the arena floor before each game and Orr would give a fist pump to the Iowa State crowd. Orr coached Iowa State to 20 victories over teams ranked in the top 25 at Hilton, with writers coining the term “Hilton Magic.” 
Awards and honors
1973 – Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame 
Head coaching record
|UMass Redmen (Yankee Conference) (1963–1966)|
|Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten Conference) (1968–1980)|
|1973–74||Michigan||22–5||12–2||T–1st||NCAA Division I Elite Eight|
|1974–75||Michigan||19–8||12–6||2nd||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1975–76||Michigan||25–7||14–4||2nd||NCAA Division I Runner-up|
|1976–77||Michigan||26–4||16–2||1st||NCAA Division I Elite Eight|
|1979–80||Michigan||17–13||8–10||T–6th||NIT Third Round|
|Iowa State Cyclones (Big Eight Conference) (1980–1994)|
|1983–84||Iowa State||16–13||6–8||T–4th||NIT First Round|
|1984–85||Iowa State||21–13||7–7||T–3rd||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1985–86||Iowa State||22–11||9–5||2nd||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|1987–88||Iowa State||20–12||6–8||5th||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1988–89||Iowa State||17–12||7–7||T–4th||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1991–92||Iowa State||21–13||5–9||T–6th||NCAA Division I Second Round|
|1992–93||Iowa State||20–11||8–6||T–2nd||NCAA Division I First Round|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- The Associated Press. "Former Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr dies". KansasCity.com. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Brown, Rick (December 31, 2013). "Former Iowa State, Michigan coach Johnny Orr dies at 86". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "Page Not Found". www.ihsa.org. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "Page Not Found". www.ihsa.org. Cite uses generic title (help)
- Brown, Rick (December 31, 2013). "Former Iowa State, Michigan coach Johnny Orr dies at 86". USA Today. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- Yardley, William (2 January 2014). "Johnny Orr, Coach Who Turned Iowa State Into Contender, Dies at 86" – via NYTimes.com.
- Hansen, Marc (31 December 2013). "Hansen: Johnny Orr was more than a winning basketball coach". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- "Legendary Iowa State coach Johnny Orr dies". KETV. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
. Des Moines Register http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140102/SPORTS020604/301020095/Large-crowd-gathers-at-Orr-visitation-cause-of-death-revealed?Sports&nclick_check=1. Missing or empty
- "Orr, Johnny – Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame". sites.google.com.
- "Beloit College – Official Athletics Website". Beloit College.
- "Hall of Fame – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics". naiahonors.com.
- "Basketball Museum of Illinois – John Orr". basketballmuseumofillinois.com.
- "Michigan coach Johnny Orr passes away".
- "JOHNNY ORR, IOWA STATE COACHING LEGEND, PASSES AT 86" (PDF). NABC.
- "Sports Hall of Fame – 1992". Senior High School.
- "Johnny Orr – Hall of Fame Class of 2001". Iowa State University Athletics.
- "Register Sports Hall of Fame Database - Johnny Orr - DesMoinesRegister.com". data.desmoinesregister.com.
- "Johnny Orr statue unveiled at ISU". www.desmoinesregister.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2017-04-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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