Xavier Magazine

Remembering a Legend

Ned Wulk, who coached the men’s basketball team from 1951-1957, died in November in Tempe, Ariz., at the age of 83.

Wulk began his college coaching career at Xavier, compiling an 89-70 record in six years and earning election into the University’s athletic hall of fame.

Wulk was first hired at the University as a freshman football and basketball coach, varsity baseball coach, physical education teacher and intramural director, and was then hired as an assistant coach for the varsity basketball team. One week before practice started in 1951, the head coach left, and Wulk was hired to take his place on an interim basis.

During his tenure at Xavier, he led the team to its first-ever National Invitation Tournament appearance in 1956 and back to the NIT in 1957. He then turned the team over to Jim McCafferty—who took the team to the 1958 NIT Championship—to become coach at Arizona State University. There, he coached for 15 years and won 406 games. In 1999, ASU named its arena floor “Ned Wulk Court.”

Off the court, Wulk was president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1978, chairman of the NABC’s All-American committee, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame board, and an appointee to the U.S. Collegiate Sports Council and the U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee.

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