Gene Bartow, University of Alabama-Birmingham basketball coach, died late Tuesday in his home in Alabama at the age of 81, reported The Associated Press.
UAB Athletic Director Brian Mackin said in a statement that Coach Bartow is a beloved figure in college basketball and in the lives of many players and fans. He was a great man and dedicated leader who set a standard of excellence for UAB athletics.
Bartow, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, was inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame that same year. In all, he won 647 games with six schools over a 34 year span. In addition, Bartow was president of the company that operated the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies.
Bartow spent time with Central Missouri State from 1961-64, Valparaiso from 1964-70, Memphis State from 1970-74 and Illinois from 1974-75. From there, he took over for John Wooden at UCLA, leading them to 10 NCAA titles. Then, he started the sports program at UAB, coached the team for 18 seasons, and was athletics director for another 24. The school's basketball building was named in his honor in 1997.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and children, Mark, Beth and Murray.
Funeral arrangements are pending, said the school.