Guy Lewis (1922 – 2015)

Former University of Houston men's basketball coach Guy V. Lewis, who led the Phi Slama Jama teams of the 1980s, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 93.

A World War II veteran, Lewis played basketball at the University of Houston until he graduated in 1947. He later held the positions of assistant coach (1953-1955) and head coach (1956-1986) at the university.

Lewis coached the Houston Cougars through 27 straight winning seasons, including 14 trips to the NCAA tournament. Lewis coached several outstanding players, including Louis Dunbar, Otis Birdsong and Elvin Hayes.


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He was referred to as the Father of Phi Slama Jama, a nickname for the UH men's basketball teams in the early 1980s. He also was known as the Architect of the Game of the Century that No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Houston played in the Astrodome in 1968, according to Houston Business Journal.

"This monumental event that Lewis guided demonstrated the nationwide (and soon-to-be) worldwide popularity of college basketball on television and in large arenas," according to the University of Houston. "It also set the stage for the worldwide hysteria that college basketball fans love and enjoy in March Madness annually."

Lewis retired from coaching in 1986.

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