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Edgar Diddle

Enshrined:
Born:
Died:
Height:
Weight:
As a coach on April 20, 1972
March 12, 1895 in Gradyville, KY
January 2, 1970
6-foot-0
195 pounds

 

High School:
  • Adair County (Columbia, KY), graduated 1915
High School Playing Highlights:
  • Played four years
College:
  • Centre College (Danville, KY), graduated 1920
College Playing Highlights:
  • All-Southern (1920)
  • All-State (1919, 1920)
  • Member of unbeaten 1919 basketball team, which claimed the Southern championship after defeating Kentucky,
    Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Louisville
Military:
  • Naval Aviation Program (1918-19)
High School Coaching:
  • Monticello (KY) High School (1920-21)
  • Greenville (KY) High School (1921-22)
High School Coaching Highlights:
  • Coached Monticello to state finals, where they came in second (1921)
  • Coached Greenville to regional finals (1922)
College Coaching:
  • Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY) (1922-64)
College Coaching Highlights:
  • One of the pioneers of fast-break basketball, Diddle was a true showman on the court who would wave, toss and chew a red towel along the sidelines
  • Won 759 of 1,061 games (.715) in 42 seasons, the fourth highest number of wins of any coach in history at the time of his enshrinement (surpassed only by Adolph Rupp, Phog Allen and Hank Iba)
  • Became the first coach in history to coach 1,000 games at one school
  • Diddle's Hilltopper teams won or shared 32 conference titles in three separate conferences (won 13 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, won eight Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and won or shared 11 Ohio Valley Conference championships)
  • His teams competed in three NCAA and eight NIT tournaments and had one Olympic playoff berth
  • The Hilltoppers ranked in the Top 10 in scoring among major colleges for seven consecutive years (1948-55)
  • Thirteen of his players were selected to various All-America teams and 16 went on to successful careers in professional basketball
  • Had 18 seasons of 20 or more victories, including 10 consecutive from 1934 to 1944, and overall, averaged 25 wins per year; experienced only five losing seasons
  • The Hilltoppers' best record under Diddle came in 1937-38, when they were 30-3
  • Optimist Club Award for Outstanding Achievement and Contributions to Youth (1951)
  • Kentucky Press Association's Outstanding Kentuckian of the Year (1957)
  • Kentucky Broadcasters Association's Kentucky Mike Award (1967)
  • Enshrined in Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame
  • E.A. Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky is named in his honor
Bio:

Edgar Diddle was a true showman on the basketball court. As coach at Western Kentucky for 42 seasons, Diddle would wave, toss and chew a red towel along the sidelines. He also used the towel to cover his face in displeasure, but during his enormously successful career, that wasn't very often. From 1922 to 1964, the down-home, easy-going and likeable Diddle won 759 of 1,061 games at Western Kentucky, amassing the fourth highest number of wins of any coach in history. As such, Diddle became the first coach in history to coach 1,000 games at one school. Diddle's teams won or shared 31 conference titles in three separate leagues and competed in three NCAA tournaments and eight NIT'S. A pioneer of fastbreak basketball, Diddle experienced only five losing seasons in 42 years. From 1934 to 1949 and 1947 to 1954, the Hilltoppers won 20 games or more except one season, and overall, averaged 25 wins per year.

 

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