Johnny Bach Named To Inaugural Atlantic 10 Basketball Legends Class
Jan. 16, 2013
Newport News, Va. -
The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Tuesday its Inaugural Men's Basketball Legends. The 2013 class includes 16 former men's basketball student-athletes and coaches who made an immeasurable impact on each A-10 institution and its basketball program.
"The considerable contributions each of these gentlemen made to their institution and its basketball program played an important role in shaping the foundation of men's basketball in the Atlantic 10," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "Whether it was building a program that eventually became a founding member or furthering the conference as it grew into a basketball power, each of the honorees is a part of the fabric of A-10 history and we're thrilled to be able to honor them."
The Men's Basketball Legends will be honored on March 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. prior to the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship semifinals. The women's class will be announced Wednesday. Each honoree will be saluted during a celebration awards brunch in the 40/40 Club, beginning at 11 am prior to the A-10 men's semifinal games.
The group includes 11 former players, three head coaches and two individuals that were both a player and a coach for their respective institutions. The impressive list includes several nationally recognized names and four members of the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame (Tony Hinkle, Red Auerbach, Tom Gola, John Chaney).
Fordham's representative is Johnny Bach, the school's all-time winningest head coach, 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 great 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 Penn State, Bach worked on the staff with the Golden State Warriors for three-plus seasons before being named Warriors' head coach for 1983-84. He moved to Chicago in 1987, working under both Doug Collins and Phil Jackson. The Bulls accumulated a 432-224 (.659) record during Bach's tenure, notching 50 or more wins six times. He also has three NBA Championship rings, won with the Bulls in 1991, `92, and `93. Originally a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bach currently lives in Chicago, Ill.
Bach was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974 and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.