| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 1 |
Alma Mater: Kansas 
Hometown: Kansas City, Ks
Date Died: March 18, 2000
Overall Record: 142-107 [10 Seasons]
|12/14/1959||Kentucky at Kansas||W||77 - 72 OT||-|
Obituary - Salina (KS) Journal (March 19, 2000)
Former KU Coach Dies
Harp, 81, led Jayhawks to 121-82 record in eight seasons and to national championship game in '57
LAWRENCE - Former Kansas basketball coach Dick Harp, who was an assistant to Phog Allen, coached Wilt Chamberlain, and helped bring Roy Williams to Kansas, died Saturday in Lawrence. He was 81.
He was an assistant coach for Allen from 1949 to 1956, before compiling a 121-82 record in eight seasons as head coach.
Allen recruited Harp from Rosedale High School in Kansas City, Kan., beginning what would become a 60-year relationship with the basketball program.
"I thought that was special, until I reported and about 50 other freshman candidates showed up," Harp once said.
Harp was among a handful of men who were both a player and head coach in an NCAA championship game.
As a player, Harp was a three-year letterman from 1938 to 1940. He was a starting guard on the 1940 Kansas team that lost to Indiana in the NCAA finals.
In his first season as head coach, Harp took the Jayhawks with Chamberlain to the NCAA finals in 1957. No. 2 Kansas lost to undefeated and No. 1 North Carolina in triple overtime, 54-53.
Chamberlain and Bill Bridges were both All-Americans under Harp, whose teams won two conference titles and appeared in two NCAA tournaments.
Bill Lienhard, who played for Harp, noted that the former coach died at an appropriate time - the morning after Kansas beat DePaul 81-77 in overtime in the NCAA tournament.
"Somehow that seems fitting ... he loved KU so much," said Lienhard, who started for the 1952 national championship Jayhawk team.
"Dick was one of the most underrated coaches the college game has ever seen," Lienhard said. "He developed the defensive scheme which led us to the national championship and which Dean Smith took and refined so productively at North Carolina after learning it as a KU player and Dick and Doc (Allen)."
After resigning as Kansas head coach in 1964, Harp was director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Later, Smith persuaded Harp to serve as a special assistant at North Carolina from 1986 to 1989. It was there that Harp developed a friendship with then-assistant coach Roy Williams.
When Larry Brown left Kansas after the 1988 NCAA championship season, Harp recommended that Kansas hire Williams as head coach.
Williams, who considered Harp one of his mentors, broke into tears Saturday when recalling the former Jayhawk.
"Kansas lost -- to me -- probably the guy closest to being Mr. Kansas Basketball," said Williams, whose Jayhawks play Duke Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Harp's health had been failing for several years and he had recently fractured a hip. He died at his residence at Lawrence's Presbyterian Manor. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Martha Sue, and a son, Richard Layne Harp, of Las Vegas.
Funeral arrangements were pending.
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