Bobby Gene Bartow (August 18, 1930 – January 3, 2012) was an American men's college basketball coach. The Browning, Missouri, native coached 36 years at six universities after coaching two high schools in Missouri for six years. In 1972 Bartow coached the Puerto Rico national basketball team in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
|Born||August 18, 1930|
|Died||January 3, 2012 (aged 81)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1961–1964||Central Missouri State|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
145–39 (high school)
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2 MVC regular season (1972, 1973)|
2 Pac-8 regular season (1976, 1977)
3 Sun Belt regular season (1981, 1982, 1990)
4 Sun Belt Tournament (1982–1984, 1987)
|MVC Coach of the Year (1972)|
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2009
Bartow began his coaching at the prep level in Missouri, coaching Shelbina and St. Charles High School basketball squads to a 145–39 win-loss mark in six seasons. His 1957 St. Charles team won the state championship, defeating North Kansas City in the Class L finals by a score of 60–54.
Bartow coached at Central Missouri State University from 1961 to 1964, Valparaiso University from 1964 to 1970, and Memphis State University from 1970 until 1974, and he led the Memphis State Tigers to the 1973 NCAA national championship game and consecutive Missouri Valley Conference titles in the 1971–72 and 1972–73 seasons. He coached the US national team in the 1974 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.
Bartow signed a five-year contract to replace Harv Schmidt at the University of Illinois in 1974. A last-place team the previous campaign, the Fighting Illini finished tied for ninth in the Big Ten at 8–18 (4–14 in the conference) in 1975, Bartow's only season there. Despite this, he was the first Illini coach to extensively recruit talented African American high school players from the Chicago area. He was succeeded by Lou Henson.
Bartow left the Midwest for Los Angeles to succeed coaching legend John Wooden as the head coach at UCLA. He led the Bruins from 1975 to 1977, guiding them to Pac-8 titles and a 52–9 (.852) record, including a berth in the Final Four in 1976, falling to Indiana, the undefeated eventual champion. Bartow coached the 1977 College Player of the Year, Marques Johnson, but second-ranked UCLA lost to unranked Idaho State by a point in the Sweet Sixteen at Provo, Utah. As of 2008, he has the second-highest winning percentage at UCLA, behind Gary Cunningham (.862) and above Wooden (.808).
After just two years at UCLA, Bartow left in 1977 to take over the job of creating an athletic program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He served as the Blazers' first head basketball coach and athletic director for 18 years. Bartow led UAB to the NIT in 1980, the program's second year of existence, and followed that up with seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancements to the Sweet Sixteen in 1981 and the Elite Eight in 1982.
Bartow retired from coaching in 1996, and in 1997, UAB renamed its basketball venue Bartow Arena in his honor. His son Murry, a UAB assistant, became the coach upon Bartow's retirement; Bartow was later president of Hoops, LP, the company that runs the Memphis Grizzlies and the FedEx Forum.
In 1989, Bartow was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, 10 years later, in 1999, Central Missouri State (now the University of Central Missouri) also elected him to theirs. Bartow was also voted one of Valparaiso University's 150 most influential people in October 2009.  Bartow was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City on November 22, 2009, along with fellow inductees Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wayman Tisdale, Jud Heathcote, Walter Byers, Travis Grant and Bill Wall. In 2013, Bartow was selected for induction into the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Hall of Fame.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Central Missouri State Mules (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1961–1964)|
|1961–62||Central Missouri State||16–6|
|1962–63||Central Missouri State||17–6|
|1963–64||Central Missouri State||14–9|
|Central Missouri State:||47–21|
|Valparaiso Crusaders (Indiana Collegiate Conference) (1964–1970)|
|1965–66||Valparaiso||18–10||7–5||4th||NCAA College Division Second Round|
|1968–69||Valparaiso||16–12||4–4||T–2nd||NCAA College Division Second Round|
|Memphis State Tigers (Missouri Valley Conference) (1970–1974)|
|1971–72||Memphis State||21–7||12-2||T–1st||NIT First Round|
|1972–73||Memphis State||24–6||12–2||1st||NCAA University Division Runner-up|
|Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (1974–1975)|
|UCLA Bruins (Pacific-8 Conference) (1975–1977)|
|1975–76||UCLA||28–4†||13–1||1st||NCAA Division I Third Place|
|1976–77||UCLA||24–5||11–3||1st||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|UAB Blazers (NCAA Division I independent) (1978–1979)|
|UAB Blazers (Sun Belt Conference) (1979–1991)|
|1979–80||UAB||18–12||10–4||T–2nd||NIT First Round|
|1980–81||UAB||23–9||9–3||T–1st||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|1981–82||UAB||25–6||9–1||1st||NCAA Division I Elite Eight|
|1982–83||UAB||19–14||9–5||3rd||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1983–84||UAB||23–11||8–6||5th||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1984–85||UAB||25–9||11–3||2nd||NCAA Division I Second Round|
|1985–86||UAB||25–11||9–5||T–3rd||NCAA Division I Second Round|
|1986–87||UAB||21–11||10–4||3rd||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1988–89||UAB||22–12||8–6||4th||NIT Final Four|
|1989–90||UAB||22–9||12–2||1st||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1990–91||UAB||18–13||9–5||2nd||NIT First Round|
|UAB Blazers (Great Midwest Conference) (1991–1995)|
|1991–92||UAB||20–9||4–6||5th||NIT First Round|
|1992–93||UAB||21–14||5–5||4th||NIT Final Four|
|1993–94||UAB||22–8||8–4||T–2nd||NCAA Division I First Round|
|UAB Blazers (Conference USA) (1995–1996)|
Postseason invitational champion
- 1974 USA Basketball Archived August 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- 2011–12 Illinois Basketball Record Book.
- Moses, Sam. "Pursued By A Very Long Shadow," Sports Illustrated, November 17, 1975.
- McDermott, Barry (April 5, 1976). "Indiana makes its point". Sports Illustrated. p. 18.
- McDermott, Barry (March 28, 1977). "Off and running toward Atlanta". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
- Benson, Lee (March 18, 1977). "Utes fall short, Idaho State stuns UCLA". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. 6B.
- "ISU has greatest win". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. March 18, 1977. p. 21.
- "UCLA becomes the obscure one". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. March 18, 1977. p. 1B.
- Former UCLA coach Bartow named president of Grizzlies
- Central Missouri Hall of Fame
- MIAA Hall of Fame