Legendary Coach Will Be Inducted Into National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame In November
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Joe Vancisin, Yale's all-time winningest men's basketball coach, was honored at halftime of Saturday's football game with Dartmouth. Vancisin, who guided the Bulldogs for 19 seasons and won three Ivy League titles, will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on November 20 in Kansas City.
Vancisin took over at Yale in 1956-57 and promptly led the Bulldogs to the first official Ivy League title. Yale then lost to North Carolina 90-74 in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1961-62, dropping a heartbreaking 92-82 decision to a Wake Forest team that went on to advance to the Final Four. Yale shared the Ivy title in 1962-63 but fell to Princeton in a playoff game.
Another notable highlight of his coaching career came when the Bulldogs captured the 1969 Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, knocking off Pete Maravich's LSU team in the championship game. Renowned as a brilliant court tactician, Vancisin helped develop Yale stars John Lee, Rick Kaminsky (both All-Americans), Larry Downs, Bill Madden, Ed Goldstone, Rick Stoner and Jim Morgan.
Vancisin, who had a 206-242 record as the Bulldogs' head coach, left Yale in 1975 to become the NABC's executive director for 17 years before his retirement in 1992. Under his leadership, the NABC debuted its college all-star game at the NCAA Final Four, elected its first African American president in Georgetown's John Thompson and adopted a code of ethics.
Vancisin's career in basketball covered more than 54 years as a player, coach and administrator. The Bridgeport, Conn., native was the captain of the state and New England championship team as a senior at Bassick High, was selected to the All State and All New England teams and was recognized as Connecticut's most outstanding scholastic player.
Vancisin traveled extensively giving clinics around the world and was a member of two U.S. Olympic basketball staffs – on the gold medal winning team headed by Dean Smith in 1976 and with the 1980 team, coached by Dave Gavitt.
Vancisin was an active member of the NABC, served on the board of directors and was the NABC president in 1974. He succeeded Bill Wall as NABC executive director in 1975 and was the recipient of the John Bunn Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Vancisin, who will enter the Hall of Fame as a contributor, joins players Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin, coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton and fellow contributor Eddie Einhorn in the induction class of 2011.