| Wins against Kentucky - 2 | Losses against Kentucky - 0 |
Alma Mater: Indiana  (*)
Hometown: Monrovia, IN
Date Born: June 9, 1908
Date Died: June 4, 1970
Overall Record: 450-231 [32 Seasons]
|12/23/1942||Kentucky vs. Indiana||L||52 - 58||(at Louisville, KY)|
|12/30/1940||Kentucky vs. Indiana||L||45 - 48||Sugar Bowl (at New Orleans, LA)|
Obituary - Indianapolis News (June 4, 1970)
Former I.U. Coach Branch McCracken Dies
Branch McCracken, who twice coached Indiana University's basketball team to the national collegiate championship, died today in the I.U. Hospital here.
He would have been 62 on Tuesday.
McCracken suffered a heart ailment two weeks ago and was taken to a Bloomington hospital. He was transferred to the Medical Center hospital in Indianapolis last week.
He coached basketball for 32 years, 24 at Indiana and eight at Ball State. He retired at I.U. in 1965 with a record of 364 victories and 174 defeats at I.U. His record at Ball State was 93-41.
In his 24 years at I.U., his run-run-run style became a trademark. McCracken had a winning record against every other team in the Big 10.
His teams won the NCAA national tournament in 1940 and 1953, the Big 10 in '53 and '54 and '58 and were co-champions in '57.
McCracken was a farm boy from Monrovia, about 40 miles from the I.U. campus, where he learned to play on an outdoor court. He always kidded his players about how easy they had it.
"We had to play the wind on our shots," Mac used to say.
He was one of the first members elected to the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame. "Mac" had never seen a football game when he enrolled at Indiana but he won three letters as an end. He set a Big 10 basketball scoring record in 1930 and won conference and all-American honors.
While at Ball State, after graduating from I.U., the 6-4 handsome young coach married Mary Joe Pittenger, daughter of the college president, who survives. Their son, David, is basketball coach at Greencastle High School.
McCracken coached some of Indiana's greatest stars, including Bob Leonard, now coach of the American Basketball Association champion Indiana Pacers, the Van Arsdale twins, Dick and Tom; Don Schlundt, Bill Garrett, Jay McCreary, Jimmie Rayl, Hallie Bryant and Jon McGlocklin to mention only a few.
He was succeeded as coach in 1965 by another of his former players, Lou Watson.
McCracken conducted basketball clinics in Japan and other Far Eastern countries in 1951 at the request of the U.S. State Department and conducted another series in Europe in 1953.
Services are pending at Day Funeral Home in Bloomington. The family has asked all of McCraken's former players to serve as honorary pall bearers.
The family also asked that memorial contributions be made to the Branch McCracken Scholarship Fund at I.U., established when Mac retired, to the Heart Fund or tot he Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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