| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 2 |
Alma Mater: Houston 
Hometown: Arp, TX
Date Born: March 19, 1922
Date Died: November 26, 2015
Overall Record: 592-279 [30 Seasons]
|1/22/1984||Houston at Kentucky||W||74 - 67||-|
|12/29/1956||Kentucky vs. Houston||W||111 - 76||Sugar Bowl Championship (at New Orleans, LA)|
Obituary - New York Times (November 26, 2015)
by Ashley Southall
Guy Lewis, a Hall of Fame basketball coach known for leading the University of Houston's Phi Slama Jama teams of the early 1980s, died on Thursday at a retirement home in Kyle, Tex. He was 93.
Officials at the University of Houston announced his death in a statement.
"Without the presence of Lewis, the history of the University of Houston would have been drastically different," university officials wrote in his biography on the Houston athletics website. "His tremendous impact here and on the game will be remembered across the nation."
Lewis was the Houston men's basketball coach for 30 years, compiling a record of 592-279 and turning the program into a powerhouse, with 20 straight winning seasons and 14 N.C.A.A. tournament appearances.
Late in his tenure, after Houston had joined the Southwest Conference, Lewis guided the Cougars to two regular-season conference championships and four conference tournament titles.
Lewis guided teams to the N.C.A.A. tournament's Final Four in 1967 and 1968, with Elvin Hayes, who was later the top overall pick in the N.B.A. draft and went on to make the Hall of Fame, as the star.
But Lewis, easily distinguished along the sideline by his colorful plaid jackets and the polka-dot towel he clenched in his fist, is best remembered for his frenetic squads of the 1980s featuring Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, a Nigerian immigrant then known as Akeem.
In 1982, at the end of Olajuwon's first season, Drexler led the Cougars to a Final Four appearance. The team's celebrity exploded the next year, in part because of a nickname coined by the Houston Post columnist Thomas Bonk: Phi Slama Jama, in honor of the Cougars' thunderous style of play.
Dunks had been banned by the N.C.A.A. from 1967 to 1976, but with their reintroduction, Lewis proved a champion of the cause, reportedly calling them a "high-percentage shot."
Playing an above-the-rim style, Lewis's teams made back-to-back appearances in the national championship game, in 1983 and 1984. But the Cougars fell short both times.
In a memorable stunner, the team, which had been ranked No. 1, lost to North Carolina State in the 1983 final as Wolfpack forward Lorenzo Charles beat the buzzer with a dunk.
"It feels awful," Lewis said after that game, according to The Associated Press. "I've never lost a game that didn't feel that way, but this one was terrible."
Beyond his on-the-court accomplishments, Lewis helped integrate college basketball in the South by signing the Houston program's first African-American players, Hayes and Don Chaney. The pair were among 30 of Lewis's players who ascended to the N.B.A., with Olajuwon, like Hayes, becoming a No. 1 overall draft pick.
The court at the University of Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion was named after Lewis in 1995.
Guy Vernon Lewis II was born on March 19, 1922, in Arp, Tex. He attended Arp High School, where he played basketball and football. After graduation, he served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and then enrolled at Rice University.
He left to attend Houston, where he played on the inaugural basketball team, in 1946, and led it to a Lone Star Conference title. He graduated in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in education.
Lewis had been a prodigious scorer in college, accumulating 210 points in 10 league games during his first season and never scoring fewer than 14 points in a game. In his second season, he scored a personal-best 38 points in a game, breaking his first-season mark by 4.
In 1953, he returned to the university to be an assistant under Coach Alden Pasche. Lewis took over the program in 1956, after Pasche's retirement.
During the early years of Lewis's tenure, the team struggled against teams like Cincinnati and Bradley, but a turnaround in 1959-60 produced the first of more than two dozen winning seasons.
He met the former Dena Nelson at a high school dance in the 1930s, and the pair began dating despite attending rival high schools. They were married from 1942 until her death in June 2015, shortly before the couple's 73rd wedding anniversary.
They had three children and are survived by two sons, Vern and Terry. Their only daughter, Sherry, 63, died in December. Her son, Noah, also survives the family.
Lewis, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, was an architect of the so-called Game of the Century, a regular-season matchup between top-ranked U.C.L.A. and second-seeded Houston on Jan. 20, 1968.
The game, which featured Hayes and the Bruins star Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, drew 52,000 fans to the Houston Astrodome, and millions more watched on television as the Cougars won, 71-69, to end U.C.L.A.'s 47-game winning streak and avenge a loss in the Final Four of the previous year's N.C.A.A. tournament.
Lewis called it the "greatest thrill" of his career, according to his biography on the Houston website.
"Playing that game, winning it, was a great, great thrill," he said.
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