Stanley H. Watts

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Stanley H. Watts was a coach at Brigham Young University, particularly known for his success as the men’s basketball. In 1979, he was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame, and on May 6, 1986, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coach.

He coached BYU basketball from 1949 to 1972 and led the Cougars to two NIT National Championships (1951, 1966). His teams won two Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles, one Mountain States Conference title, and five Western Athletic Conference championships. His overall record was 371–254. During his twenty-three years there, he also served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and sat on the board of directors from 1958 to 1968. He also chaired the U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee (1976).

Basketball was not his only assignment at BYU; he also served four years as the athletic director and worked on the football, baseball, and track coaching staffs, sports he excelled in during high school and Weber Junior College. While at BYU, he lettered in football, basketball, and track, and was named the outstanding all-around senior athlete.

Watts was born on August 30, 1911, in Murray, Utah. He graduated from BYU in 1938. He began coaching that year at Millard High. He coached at Dixie Junior College from 1941 to 1945 then moved to Jordan High where he coached for two years. In 1947, he was selected as BYU’s freshman coach. He moved on to the varsity team in 1949. He was a member of the NCAA’s Rules Committee. Watts was a pioneer in the fast break style and some called him the Father of the jump shot.

Watts overcame a rare form of cancer in 1971. He and his wife, Emily, had three daughters and a son. He died on April 6, 2000. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.