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NCAA Tournament Notes: A Tale Of 3 Coaches

March 20, 2019

Last night, Belmont University, guided by Rick Byrd, who is in his 43rd season of coaching, won its first NCAA Tournament game, albeit a “first four” game, defeating Temple.

It also was Byrd’s first NCAA Tournament win, coming in his 33rd season at the Nashville, Tennessee based university.

Fran Dunphy, the Temple coach is retiring, hence last night’s tilt was his last. He coached for 30 seasons in the Big Five of Philadelphia, first at The University of Pennsylvania and for the last 13 seasons at Temple after replacing John Cheney.

Another long time Big Five (the Philadelphia based quintet consists of Penn, Temple, St. Josephs, Villanova and La Salle) coach’s career seemingly ended yesterday, when Phil Martelli, in at St. Josephs for 24 seasons, was fired by the university.

In ’04 Martelli guided St. Joes to wins in their first 27 games and into the Elite Eight/Regional final, before losing to Oklahoma State on John Lucas |||’s basket.







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