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Elmer Ripley (July 21, 1891April 29, 1982) was a college men's and pro basketball coach. In over 30 years, he coached collegiately at 7 different schools as well as professionally for several teams. Once celebrated, Ripley now is an almost forgotten figure in the history of Americanmarker basketball.

Early life

Ripley was born in Staten Island, New Yorkmarker on July 21, 1891. After graduating from local Curtis High School, he attended Brown Universitymarker.


Considered to be one of the great basketball coaches of the last century, Ripley began his career as a player before making the switch to coach in 1922. At age 19, Ripley decided to leave Brown to play basketball professionally with the Interstate League Brooklyn Trolly Dodgers, the New York League Uyica Utes and the "Original Celtics" club. Ripley would enjoy numerous achievements including being voted among the ten best pro players from 1909 to 1926.


After playing, he went on to coach at several major universities, travel the world teaching and was eventually inducted into the Basketball Hall of Famemarker. Ripley began his first professional coaching tenure with Wagner College in 1922, before moving into a position at Georgetown Universitymarker in 1927. His skills as a coach were evident as he won twelve of his first thirteen games. During his many years with the University, he would achieve a 133-82 record and lead Georgetown to the NCAA tournament twice. Ripley was in high demand as he would be repeatedly hired away by several prestigious colleges including Columbia University (1943-45), University of Notre Damemarker (1929-35) and Yale Universitymarker (1929-35) which he helped bring to the 1933 Ivy League Championship.

After leaving Georgetown for good in 1949, Ripley would go on to coach the Harlem Globetrotters (1953-56), the Israeli Olympic team (1956) and the Canadian Olympic team (1960). Held in high regard, the U.S. Committee for Sports sent Ripley to Israelmarker in 1957 to help teach basketball. Ripley continued to coach straight through his eightieth birthday after finally being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973.

He died April 29, 1982 at age ninety.

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