Ex-Houston coach Guy Lewis, a Hall of Famer, dies Thursday at 93

Guy Lewis, who had 592 career wins, honored by Houston in 2014. (USATSI)
Guy Lewis, who had 592 career wins, honored by Houston in 2014. (USATSI)

Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Guy Lewis — best known for leading Houston’s iconic Phi Slama Jama teams in the 1980s — died Thursday, according to an announcement from Hunter Yurachek, vice president for intercollegiate athletics at Houston.

Lewis was 93.

“He was ahead of his time in terms of inclusion and treating everyone the way they liked to be treated at a time when it wasn’t too popular to do that,” Clyde Drexler, who starred on the Phi-Slama-Jama teams alongside fellow Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, told Fox 26’s Mark Berman. “I give him credit for being a stand-up leader in the face of adversity.”

Lewis coached Houston from 1956-86. A Texas native, Lewis reached the Final Four five times and retired with a career record of 592-279. He was twice named AP Coach of the Year. His biggest win, arguably, might have come in 1968 when his Cougars upset top-ranked and undefeated UCLA in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Astrodome.

That was the first nationally televised college basketball game.

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