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College Basketball Insider

Iowa State icon Johnny Orr dies at 86

Johnny Orr is among the most beloved basketball men in the history of Iowa. (USATSI)
Johnny Orr is among the most beloved men in Iowa State history. (USATSI)

Johnny Orr, who won a school-record 218 games at Iowa State from 1980 to 1994, has died.

He was 86.

Iowa State officials confirmed the death on Tuesday.

"He was my hero," said current Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, who, of course, played for Orr in the 1990s. "As a kid, just to see him walk out of that tunnel was what you waited for on game nights. Just to see his enthusiasm and passion. He was a father figure to so many of us. He impacted so many lives and made all of us better people. Not only was he a great basketball coach, he was even a better person."

Orr coached 29 seasons at the Division I level -- first at UMass, then at Michigan and finally at Iowa State until he retired in 1994. His career record was 466-346. He made four Sweet 16s and led Michigan to the national title game in 1976.

Here, a classic clip of Orr from a Selection Sunday way back when.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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