BUNN, JOHN W. 'BUNNY'
Hometown: Humboldt, KS (Humboldt HS)
JOHN ĎBUNNYí BUNN (Player 1918-20, Asst. Coach 1921-30)
-As a coach, teacher, lecturer, and prolific writer, John Bunn was a national and international authority on basketball.
John W. Bunn was born in Wellston, Ohio in 1898. Playing football, basketball and baseball, he won ten letters at the University of Kansas. At a time when the sportís inventor, James Naismith was a professor of Physical Education at the school, Bunn came to KU from Humboldt (Kansas) High School and played basketball for coach W.O. Hamilton for two seasons and for Phog Allen during his senior year.
Upon completing his bachelorís degree, Bunn became Allenís assistant for nine seasons, serving as freshman coach of the football, basketball and baseball programs. In 1930 he became menís basketball head coach at Stanford University, building the Cardinal program into a national power. Bunnís teams played a coast-to-coast schedule, a rarity in those days, which helped establish West Coast basketball. In 1937, Stanford won the Helms Foundation National Championship behind Hall of Famer Hank Luisetti. Although Bunn emphasized defense, his team was best known for making the one-hand jump shot a powerful offensive weapon. Bunn was one of the few coaches of the era who would have allowed Luisetti to use what was then a very unorthodox way of shooting. Luisettiís style was soon adopted by other players.
Luisettiís last year at Stanford was also Bunnís. Bunn temporarily retired from coaching in 1939 to become a college administrator. He returned as coach at Springfield College, basketballís birthplace, from 1947 through 1956. During his tenure at Springfield, Bunn was named the first chairman of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Committee, serving from 1949-69. He finished his coaching career at Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado) from 1956 through 1962. His overall record was 313 wins, 288 losses.
After he retired as a coach, he was a member of the NCAA rules committee, serving as its national rules editor and interpreter for nine seasons (1959-67). He served as the chair of the National Association of Basketball Associationís Hall of Fame Committee from 1949 to 1961, and as the first Executive Director of the Basketball Federation in 1965. He also wrote six influential books on coaching, officiating and team play.
On October 1, 1964, Bunn was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. At the time, he lived in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
The John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted by the Basketball Hallís Board of Trustees in 1973, to annually honor an international or national figure who has contributed greatly to the game of basketball. Outside of Enshrinement, the John Bunn Award is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame.
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Sources (Internet Biographies):
Link to his KU Assistant Coach site