Tulsa, OK — Ken Trickey has died, aged 79. The former basketball coach, who was most widely renowned for stints at Iowa State and Oral Roberts University (ORU), passed away Tuesday.
Although his coaching career was not as packed with honors as some of his contemporaries, ORU President Mark Rutland acknowledged how Trickey’s “exciting” basketball program had helped the university become known throughout the country.
In 1974, Ken Trickey helped lead ORU to the round of eight in the NCAA tournament. An upset victory over the Louisville Cardinals moved the team into the Elite Eight, and the plucky underdogs needed only one more win on their home floor to move to the Final Four. They missed out narrowly, losing 93-90 in overtime to Kansas.
Ken Trickey remained the school’s wins leader until Scott Sutton passed him in 2011. In two stays at ORU, Trickey boasted an impressive 214-116 record.
As well as ORU and Iowa State, Trickey also coached at Oklahoma City University.
Ken Trickey was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and raised in Cairo, Illinois. After graduating from Cairo High School, he attended Middle Tennessee State University where he became the school’s all-time basketball scoring leader.
Following his graduation, Trickey spent two years in the Army before moving into high school coaching at Culver Military Academy, at Tullahoma High School in Tennessee, and, at his alma mater, Cairo High School.
While no official cause of death has yet been given, the obituary at his official website lists the cause as complications of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Below, you can watch Ken Trickey’s post-game interview after perhaps his most famous victory, the 1974 upset over the Louisville Cardinals.