BASKETBALL PLAYER AND COACH
“We’re shooting 100 percent; 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free-throw line.”
One of the best-known Missouri sports heroes, Norm Stewart made his impact on the court, on the field, and on the bench. He first made his name as a player at Mizzou, then in the NBA, and to most basketball fans, as the coach for the University of Missouri. His legacy is cemented in the basketball record books by becoming the first person to be both a coach and player selected into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame.
THE EARLY YEARS
Norman E. Stewart was born on January 20, 1935, in Leonard, Missouri. He grew up in northeast Missouri, where he was a star basketball and baseball player for Shelbyville High School.
RISE TO FAME
Stewart arrived at the University of Missouri where he wanted to play both sports at the collegiate level. He excelled on the basketball court and earned All-Conference honors. The 6’5″ forward was a dominating force in the zone for the Tigers during his tenure as a player scoring 1,112 points in three seasons.
He also made his mark on the baseball field at Mizzou. He pitched a no-hitter during the 1954 season, which helped lead the Tigers to the College World Series Championship. He also led the team in victories over the next two years, becoming one of only a few athletes to earn letters in both baseball and basketball for three consecutive years.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
Stewart was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1956 NBA Draft but didn’t stay in professional basketball very long. He only played in five games, where he averaged about seven minutes a game. The Hawks lost the NBA championship to the Boston Celtics during the season he was there. Later that year, Stewart decided it was time to return to Missouri as an assistant basketball and baseball coach.
Four years after hanging up the sneakers, Stewart took a coaching job at the State College of Iowa. He had a great deal of success in Iowa but was lured back to Ol’ Mizzou six years later to become the head coach for the Tigers. He remained in the position for the next thirty-two seasons. He racked up more than 600 wins at Missouri and 731 overall to become one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history.
*Norm was named the Associated Press and United Press International Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year in 1994.
*His teams won eight Big 8 Conference Championships.
*He was named the Big 8 Coach of the Year five times and National Coach of the Year twice.