High school coaching legend Morgan Wootten, 88, receiving hospice care

Morgan Wootten (center) is seen in an April 2018 file photo. Credit: Twitter/DeMathaCatholic

Morgan Wootten, considered one of basketball’s most brilliant minds, is receiving hospice care at his home, it was announced on Monday.

The legendary DeMatha Catholic High School boys basketball coach, who retired in 2002, is 88.

During his illustrious career at DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Maryland, Wootten compiled an astounding 1274-192 record as head coach, winning five mythical national titles. He started coaching at DeMatha High in 1956.

He guided the team to 22 Washington, D.C. championships and 33 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference crowns.

Famous connections

Among Wootten’s most famous pupils were future NBA players Adrian Dantley and Danny Ferry.

What’s more, Wootten “helped more than 250 student-athletes receive a full college scholarship,” according to his website.

Speaking about Morgan Wootten, UCLA coaching great John Wooden once proclaimed, “I know of no finer coach at any level — high school, college or pro. I stand in awe of him.”

Wooden, mentored Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the NBA’s all-time leader scorer, at UCLA.

Wootten coached against Alcindor’s powerhouse Power Memorial Academy squad in 1965.

The result? The DeMatha High Stags halted Power’s 71-game win streak, winning 46-43.

Wootten’s accolades

Morgan Wootten was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. He became the first high school coach to receive the honor.

Red Auerbach, the architect and sideline supervisor of the Boston Celtics dynasty, introduced Wootten during his Hall of Fame enshrinement.

According to the Naismith Foundation, Morgan Wootten was the No. 1 high school coach of the 20th century.

Advertisement