Johnny Bach, the winningest coach in Fordham University basketball history, Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee, one of only two college basketball coaches to record more than 1,000 career wins and women’s basketball pioneer Marianne Stanley, a 12 time National Final Four participant as either a player or coach have been named the 2016 recipients of the Joe Lapchick Character Award.
The awards will be presented at a luncheon in New York on Friday, Nov. 18 with the recipients honored that night during the 2K Sports Classic, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden.
John W. Bach, a coaching icon on the collegiate, professional, and international levels, was one of the greatest basketball minds of all time. A defensive specialist, he has been credited with helping the Chicago Bulls win three straight NBA championships. He is still the all-time winningest coach in Fordham University basketball history, and led the Rams to five NIT appearances and a pair of NCAA berths in 18 seasons.
Bach began his basketball career in New York City in the early 1940's playing on two New York City Catholic High School championship teams. As a freshman at Fordham, he was a regular on the school's 1942-43 squad, Fordham's first NIT team. His career with the Rams, however, was interrupted by years at the University of Rochester, Brown University, and the U.S. Navy ROTC program. He was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy and served until late 1947, at which point he returned to Fordham, earned a B.S. in economics and garnered team MVP honors for the 1947-1948 season.
In 1950, he took the head coaching position at Fordham and, over the next 18 seasons, compiled a 263-193 record with five NIT appearances and NCAA appearances in 1953 and 1954. He served as assistant to the athletic director for four years and as athletic director for his final eight years before leaving for Penn State after the 1967-1968 season.
After earning his Fordham degree, Bach served a stint as a player with the Boston Celtics, before returning to New York where he was offered the head coaching position at Fordham, though he wasn't sure if he was ready for it. "I spoke with legendary St. John's coach Joe Lapchick, and told him I didn't think I was ready to be a coach. Coach Lapchick told me John, none of us were ready to coach."
Bach, who passed away in in January, 2016 at the age of 91, was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Herb Magee has been the face of the Philadelphia University men’s basketball program for 57 years as a student-athlete and a coach. In his time at the University, Magee has led the program to national prominence and a mainstay as an East Region power.
In his time at the University, Magee has led the program to national prominence and a mainstay as an East Region power. Magee is just one of two coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history to record 1,000 career victories, accomplishing the feat on Feb. 7, 2015 with an 80-60 victory over Post University. In his just third season at the helm, Magee led the Rams to the 1970 NCAA College Division
As he enters his 50th season as the Rams’ head coach, Magee has amassed 1,032 victories—which ranked first in NCAA Division II men’s basketball and second across all three divisions—and made 29 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. His coaching has produced 13 All-Americans, including 2007 Daktronics NCAA Division II Player of the Year Christian Burns, and 44 1,000-point scorers.
Magee’s teams have won at least 20 games 33 times and 25 contests in 11 seasons. The 1992-93 team posted a school-record 30 games on its way to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
In the 2009-10 season that saw the Rams reach the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, Magee won his 903rd career game to pass Bobby Knight for first on the NCAA men’s basketball coaching win list. The milestone victory came on February 23, 2010. This achievement came nearly three years to the day, February 1, 2007, that Magee became the Division II men’s basketball win leader after picking up his 829th win to pass Clarence “Big House” Gaines.
Magee’s accomplishments have led to an impressive list of honors, most notably induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dubbed “The Shot Doctor,” Magee has worked with numerous NBA players on the art of the jump shot, including 2006 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Charles Barkley, the Denver Nuggets’ Jameer Nelson, and the Boston Celtics’ Evan Turner.
Marianne Stanley attended Immaculata College and played under legendary coach and Lapchick Award winner Cathy Rush from 1972-76. Immaculata College won three consecutive AIAW National Titles in 1972, 1973 and1974. Stanley was the starting point guard on the 2nd and 3rd National Championship teams.
During her four seasons at Immaculata, the Mighty Macs played in the National Championship game all four years. Stanley was named a two time Kodak All-American in 1975, 1976, and had her number 23 jersey retired. She and her teammates were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Stanley’s coaching career began in 1976 as an assistant coach at Immaculata College. She then became the Head Coach at Old Dominion University in 1977 at the age of 23, and continued coaching the Lady Monarchs until 1987. Her ten-year record at ODU was 268-59 for an .820 winning percentage.
In her first year as a head coach, Stanley’s Old Dominion team won the WNIT, the ﬁrst of four National Championships for the school, her teams went on to win the AIAW National Championship in 1979 and again in 1980 and her 1984-85 team won the NCAA National Championship.
After leaving ODU, Stanley coached at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and Rutgers University. Overall, Stanley has appeared in the Women’s National Final Four 12 Times as either a player or a coach.
Later Stanley moved to the professional coaching ranks and has coached the Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics and New York Liberty in the WNBA. She coached the Mystics to the Eastern Conference Finals in her first year, earning WNBA Coach of the Year honors in 2002.
In 2010 Stanley was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and joined her Immaculata teammates Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame members in 2016.