OGDEN — Weber State Athletics mourns the death of former Wildcat men’s basketball Hall of Fame coach Ron Abegglen, who died Wednesday night at the age of 81.
Abegglen was the head coach of the Weber State men’s basketball team from 1991-99 and led the Wildcats to a pair of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. He posted a record of 152-83 in his eight seasons at Weber State, the third most wins in WSU history.
His teams won 20 or more games in five of his eight seasons, and he led the Wildcats to three Big Sky titles in 1994, 1995 and 1999.
He’s best known for two NCAA Tournament upsets. In 1995, he guided the No. 14 seed Wildcats to a 79-72 win over Michigan State. The Wildcats lost by two points on a buzzer-beater to Georgetown in the second round.
In 1999, he coached the Wildcats to a thrilling 76-74 upset win over North Carolina, led by Harold Arceneaux and Eddie Gill. Weber State came back and lost in overtime to Florida in the second round.
He coached three players, Ruben Nembhard, Jimmy DeGraffenried and Arceneaux to Big Sky MVP honors and numerous all-conference players. He was inducted into the Weber State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
A native of Vernal, Utah, Abegglen was born Aug. 19, 1937. His coaching took him from Morgan, to Ephraim, to Anchorage, Alaska, to Ogden, then to London. In a career that spanned over 40 years, Abegglen never had a losing record.
He graduated from Uintah High School and went on to a four-year playing career at BYU. His first coaching job came at Morgan High, where he spent 13 seasons as head coach. In his final season at Morgan, the Trojans finished with a perfect 26-0 record and won the state 2-A championship.2 comments on this story
For the next 10 seasons, Abegglen stepped up to the junior college ranks as the head coach at Snow Junior College. He then left Utah for Alaska, first as an assistant coach, then as head coach at Alaska-Anchorage.
In 1991, Abegglen returned to Utah to become the seventh head coach at Weber State. After WSU, Abegglen coached for two seasons for the London Tower of the British Basketball League before returning to Utah to retire from coaching. He also worked as a golf professional at Paradise Golf Course in Fillmore, Utah.