Former longtime Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball coach Jim Phelan has died at 92, according to a tweet sent by the school’s athletic department.
We are deeply saddened to share that legendary @MountHoops coach Jim Phelan passed away peacefully in his sleep at home last night.
You will be greatly missed Coach! pic.twitter.com/rNyZXXpYno
— Mount Athletics (@MountAthletics) June 16, 2021
Phelan coached the Mountaineers for 49 years, winning 830 games and guiding them to what is now the Division II National Championship in 1962.
“Coach Phelan is Mount St. Mary’s basketball,” current coach Dan Englestad said in a statement released by the department. “I get to share his desk and I get to coach in the gym that he changed lives in – what an honor.”
Englestad added that Phelan’s “friendship and mentorship were a true gift in my life,” and called him “a loyal husband, a loyal coach, a loyal friend.”
Phelan, whose visual trademark was the bow tie he wore on the sidelines, oversaw the program’s transition to Division I in the late 1980s, and led the school, based in Emmitsburg, Maryland, to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths, plus a trip to the NIT, before retiring in 2003.