Former Houston Cougars basketball coach Guy V. Lewis, who is considered the Father of Phi Slama Jama, will officially be announced as one of the members of the 2013 class to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, according to a report by KRIV.
Lewis remains one of the most influential coaches in the history of the University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Born March 19, 1922, in Arp, Texas, Lewis led the Cougar program to unprecedented success for 30 years from 1956 to 1986.
By the time that Lewis ended his career in the spring of 1986 after 30 seasons, he had led the Cougars to 592 of the 727 wins that the Cougars had earned until that point. However, he had seen a whopping 662 of those all-time wins as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach.
However, Lewis’ impact on the game of basketball extends far beyond his numbers on the court. In the early 1960s, he successfully recruited and welcomed Houston legends Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney as the basketball program’s first African-American student-athletes. Not only were Hayes and Chaney two of the earliest African-American student-athletes at the University, they were two of the first African players in the region.
In 1968, Lewis was the architect of the legendary Game of the Century between No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Houston. The regular-season game drew more than 52,000 fans inside the Houston Astrodome and was watched by millions more nationwide.
This monumental event that Lewis guided demonstrated the nationwide (and soon-to-be) worldwide popularity of college basketball on television and in large arenas. It also set the stage for the worldwide hysteria that college basketball fans love and enjoy in March Madness annually.