Sunday, March 12, 2017

Longtime Southern coach Ben Jobe, a 'great basketball mind,' dies at 84

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Ben Jobe, an iconic basketball coach who guided Southern to multiple Southwestern Athletic Conference championships, died Friday. He was 84.

Former coach of the Denver Nuggets and ex-president of the Indiana Pacers Donnie Walsh, who was an assistant at the University of South Carolina with Jobe, once put him in perspective, saying he had all the ingredients to be a special coach.

“He had a great basketball mind,'' Walsh said. “But he combined it with the ability to teach and lead young men. I thought he was perfect because he had the right balance and toughness that you need to have, particularly with younger people.''

Lost a great man today! My college coach and Mentor Ben Jobe passed away at home! I loved him so much! #RIP 🙏🏽#SU1988

— Avery Johnson (@CoachAvery6) March 11, 2017

Jobe demonstrated those traits. A builder of downtrodden programs, Jobe coached eight teams over a span of 31 seasons, winning at a 61 percent rate and accumulating 524 victories. But his longest tenure of 12 seasons was at Southern. In two stints with the Jaguars (1986-96; 2001-03) in which he coached such notable athletes as Avery Johnson and Bobby Phills, Jobe had a 209-141 record — perhaps none bigger than the Jaguars' 93-78 shocker in 1993 over ACC champion Georgia Tech in the NCAA tournament.


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