Mount St. Mary's
Men’s Basketball Coach • 1954-03
The iconic coach known for his trademark bow-tie, was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, the most prestigious honor of his legendary career. His 830 wins at Mount St. Mary’s ranks fifth all-time among NCAA Division I coaches, while his 1,354 games coached is the all-time NCAA record. Phelan is the only person to coach 49 years at one school and ranks second all-time in the NCAA for most seasons coached. Over his career, the Philadelphia native coached 19 teams to 20-win seasons. He led the Mount to the 1962 NCAA College Division National Championship, one of five Final Four appearances (1957, 1961, 1962, 1981 and 1985) for the program under his watch. Phelan was named the NCAA College Division Coach of the Year in 1962, the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 1981 and was a three-time NCAA District 2 Coach of the Year (1981, 1985, 1986). After the Mount transitioned to Division I and the Northeast Conference in 1989, he guided the Mount to NEC championships and NCAA bids in 1995 and 1999. He also led the Mountaineers to the Postseason NIT in 1996 and won his 800th career game on national television as the Mount defeated CCSU in the 1999 NEC title game. Phelan was a two-time NEC Coach of the Year (1993, 1996) and was named the Clair Bee Coach of the Year in 1998 by the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Knott Arena floor was renamed "Coach Jim Phelan Court" and the number "830" were retired in his honor. Likewise, the NEC Coach of the Year was renamed in his honor back in 2003. Phelan was an Honorable Mention All-America player at La Salle and went on to play for the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors in the 1953-54 season.
“Mount St. Mary’s is honored that Coach Jim Phelan has been named to the inaugural Northeast Conference Athletic Hall of Fame class,” said Lynne Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s Director of Athletics. “Coach Phelan’s extraordinary 49-year career as the Mount’s head men’s basketball coach has been well documented. Beyond the 830 victories and the many accolades he has received throughout the years, Coach Phelan is as much remembered for being a true gentleman of intercollegiate athletics, embodying the qualities of loyalty, integrity, and fairness. With the many great coaches in the Northeast Conference throughout its 30 year history; we are very pleased that Coach Jim Phelan will be included in this elite first class of NEC Hall of Fame inductees.”