PhilaU's Magee goes for 900th win

Updated: February 14, 2010, 3:16 AM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia University men's basketball coach Herb Magee won his 900th career game when the Rams beat Bloomfield College 81-77 on Saturday.

Now the Division II coach is just three victories away from passing Bobby Knight for first place on the NCAA career wins list. Knight's 902 victories are the most for coaches who spent their entire careers at the NCAA level.

Northern State coach Don Meyer has 921 victories at the NAIA and NCAA divisions.

"We treat every game the same and that's been the key. No game is more important than another," said Magee, who has coached the Rams for 43 years and led them to a national title in 1970. "At the end of the year when I'm playing golf, at the coaches convention or having dinner with my wife, that's when I'll reflect and think 'that's pretty darn good."

With his two granddaughters by his side, Magee unveiled a banner commemorating the milestone victory while standing on the court that is named after him.

"That's the whole thing; family," said Magee, whose No.4 is retired by his alma mater. "My wife (Geri) is here, my two children and my two grandchildren are all here. Once you have grandchildren it's something you just can't imagine."

Malcolm Ingram scored 22 points and the Rams (20-6, 12-1 Central Atlantic) shot 50 percent from the field to beat Bloomfield. The sharp shooting has been a staple of the team's headed by a coach known as the "Shot Doctor."

The 68-year-old Magee, who took over at his alma mater in 1967, has earned a reputation as a shooting guru and worked with future NBA players including Charles Barkley, Jameer Nelson and Malik Rose.

His current players slipped on shirts that celebrated the victory and took pride in being a part of Magee's climb toward the top.

"As a returner I knew at the end of the season last year that he only needed a few games to reach 900," senior forward Marcus Lemon said. "We didn't know until about three or four days ago that he was close. Coach isn't someone who talks about himself or his records, it's about the team and that's all he cared about.

"He did a great job in reminding us that this win was not about him but for our season. He's a mentor for all of us. We're away from home and he's there to guide us."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press