Harry Statham Becomes All-time Wins Leader at Four-year Level with 1,099th Victory

McKendree University men’s basketball coach Harry Statham became the all-time wins leader in college basketball history at the four-year level – men’s or women’s – as the Bearcats recorded a 92-84 win Saturday afternoon at Maryville University.

Statham, in his 50th season at the helm of the McKendree program, earned career win No. 1,099 thanks to the Bearcats’ triumph on Saturday to break a tie with former University of Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt atop the list. Summitt had 1,098 victories in her career before retiring after the 2012 season.

He is one of just four men’s coaches in college basketball history at the four-year level of any division to reach the 1,000-win mark. On Nov. 13, 2009, Statham collected his 1,000th career victory when McKendree defeated East-West University 79-49 in Lebanon. That victory enabled Statham to become the first member of the 1,000-win club. He needs just 11 victories entering the 2015-16 season to surpass former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach for the all-time wins record (men’s or women’s) at any level of NCAA basketball.

Statham has coached in a record 1,554 collegiate games entering the 2015-16 campaign. He surpassed the record established by former Mt. St. Mary’s coach Jim Phelan, who guided his teams for 1,354 games over a 49-year career. Statham coached in his 1,500th career game at home on Feb. 21, 2013 against Kentucky Wesleyan College.

During his storied career at McKendree, Statham has led the Bearcats to post-season play 40 times. Statham coached McKendree to all 15 of its NAIA national tournament berths, including runs of five straight appearances from 1999-2004 and again from 2006-11. Statham’s teams have averaged just under 23 wins per season since his first season of 1966-67, and have reached the 20-win mark 35 times under his tutelage.

The list of awards and honors received by Statham is endless. He was selected as the 2001-02 NAIA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year. Statham received American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year award eight different times. He is also a six-time recipient of NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year honors. Statham has been named the NAIA-Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year 12 times.

Photo Courtesy McKendree Athletics

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