| Wins against Kentucky - 1 | Losses against Kentucky - 0 |
Alma Mater: Wilmington (OH) 
Hometown: Peebles, OH
Date Born: January 23, 1906
Date Died: March 6, 1964
Overall Record: 352-141 [17 Seasons]
|12/21/1955||Dayton at Kentucky||L||74 - 89||UKIT Championship|
Obituary - Louisville Courier-Journal (March 7, 1964)
Tom Blackburn, Cage Coach at Dayton, Dies
Dayton, Ohio - Soft-spoken Tom Blackburn, the man who built the University of Dayton into a national basketball power, died last night.
The 58 year-old veteran coach was a victim of lung cancer.
Popular and respected as one of the best coaches in the game, Blackburn was a vigorous competitor to the end.
Death came in Miami Valley Hospital on Blackburn's fourth visit to the hospital since last September.
It was then that Blackburn underwent surgery for removal of tumorous tissue from his left lung. He later announced he had lung cancer.
No one at the university expected Blackburn to fill his coaching duties this season, but he showed up for his 17th season as boss of the Flyers.
When Blackburn was hospitalized for the last time Saturday, he missed a Dayton game for the first time in 17 years.
During that span, Blackburn's magic touch kept Dayton basketball teams in the national limelight almost constantly. In 1962 the Flyers swept aside four favorites to win the National Invitational Tournament.
It was a fitting climax to a season that saw the Flyers start badly. Some rabid undergraduates yelled for Blackburn's scalp and the coach was hanged in effigy.
Unperturbed, Blackburn piloted his Flyers to seven straight season-ending triumphs and then the sweep that resulted in the N.I.T. crown.
He was the winningest active coach in Ohio, with an impressive 352-140 won-lost record over the 17-year span.
Blackburn came to Dayton on a part-time basis in 1947 and was expected to serve merely as a basketball coach.
He turned a lightly regarded sport into a thriving business. The Dayton Field House, with a capacity of 5,808 has been sold out for every home game for the past 13 seasons.
Blackburn, also an assistant professor of physical education at the time of his death, was a fine all-around athlete.
He was a steelworker for two years before enrolling at Wilmington College in Ohio, where he played football, basketball and baseball.
After graduation, he coached basketball four years at West Carrollton High and eight season at Xenia Central.
He is survived by his wife: a daughter, Lize 12, and a son by a previous marriage, Ted, 30, of Wilmington.
Tonight's final game against DePaul here, will be played as scheduled. Blackburn's wife Libby requested the game be played, saying. "That's the way Tom would want it."
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