“Genuine to a fault and always a competitor, Lefty Driesell remains a living legend of college basketball’s growth and development into a national sport and focus.”
— F. Martin Harmon, Author
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About Coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell
Dubbed “the greatest program builder in the history of college basketball,” Coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell built winning programs in places where basketball had no reason to matter. Despite having never coached at one of the traditional college basketball powerhouses, Lefty retired in 2003 as the fourth most winningest coach in college basketball history, winning 786 games over the course of his storied career.
His extensive list of accomplishments places him on the shortlist of legendary college basketball coaches. He was the first coach to win over 100 games at four different Division One schools. He coached 22 teams to seasons of 20 or more wins. He won 21 conference championships in four different leagues. He developed 10 first team all Americans. His teams appeared in four Elite Eights. He recorded ten Final Top Ten finishes. The list goes on…
But Lefty’s legacy is much more than just an impressive resume of wins, personal accolades, and accomplished players. Over his 40 years in college basketball, Lefty literally shaped college basketball into the game we know it as today. From his creation of “midnight madness,” which is now a staple event at every top program in college basketball, to his role in the NCAA’s decision to expand the tournament to include more than just conference champions, to the recruitment of African American players at previously all white schools in the south, Lefty’s fingerprints can be found all over the modern game of college basketball.