MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Gene Bartow, a former coach at Memphis
State and UCLA, was hired Thursday as president of Hoops LP, the
company that operates the Memphis Grizzlies and their arena, the
Bartow was chosen NCAA coach of the year in 1973 after leading
the Tigers to the NCAA finals against powerhouse UCLA. Memphis
State is now called the University of Memphis.
After a one-season stint at Illinois, Bartow succeeded John
Wooden at UCLA, going 52-9 in two seasons and leading the Bruins to
the Final Four in 1976.
He then left to help found the athletic program at UAB, serving
as the school's first head basketball coach and athletic director.
He retired from UAB in 2000 and has been a special adviser to
the Grizzlies since they relocated from Vancouver in 2001. He has
helped the team scout and worked in the community to promote the
team and sell tickets and sponsorships.
"I am pleased to announce the expansion of Gene's role with the
Grizzlies which allows him to be more involved in all areas of the
organization," team owner Michael Heisley said in a statement.
"We feel he is a perfect fit for the Grizzlies and the city of
Memphis. Over the past seven years Gene has expanded his
involvement with the Grizzlies to enhance the team's relationship
with the community."
Bartow also coached at Central Missouri and Valparaiso.