Fred Lewis

Aug 15, 2011
JB was on with Bud & the Manchild the other day and commented that Fred Lewis was a difficult guy in some ways.

I don't remember much about Lewis only that he coached in the Manley days.

By the looks of Lewis' Wikipedia (below) he was a successful coach. I do think there was some talk that he was a heavy drinker. Can anyone shed any light on what JB was referring to when he said Lewis was dificult?

Frederick B. Lewis (January 6, 1921 – December 27, 1994) was the head basketball coach at Syracuse from 1962 to 1967. He compiled a 91-57(.615) record during his tenure. He took his team to the NIT tournament, only two years after the team suffered a 2-22 season. Prior to coaching at Syracuse, he coached at Southern Miss, where he compiled an 89-38 record. He coached at Amityville High School, where he compiled a 63-40 record from 1950 to 1953. He also coached at Hawaii, where he went 21-2.

1965-1966 (22-6)
Standing (L-R): Fred Lewis (Head Coach), Rex Trobridge, Vaughn Harper, Norm Goldsmith, George Hicker, Sam Penceal, Steve Ludd, Tom Bednark, Richie Cornwall, Frank Nicoletti, Tom Ringelmann, Jim Boeheim, Dave Bing, Dick Ableman, Rich Dean, Val Reid, Roy Danforth (Asst. Coach)
Kneeling: Bernie Fine (Team Manager)

His teams were known for their amazing offenses. In fact, one of his teams, became extremely close to becoming the first team in NCAA history to average 100 or more points per game. Lewis's 1965-66 team, led by superstar Dave Bing, made the NCAA Tournament and beat Davidson in the first round before falling to Duke University. He died in Sacramento, California in 1994

From OrangeHoops

"He brought in the amazing Dave Bing, and West Point transfer Chuck Richards, along with several top flight players from the New York metropolitan area.

He was a gifted basketball player himself, having played for the championship Long Island University (LIU) teams. The war interrupted his career, and he continued afterwards at Eastern Kentucky, where he earned small school All-American status. He scored 1,588 points in his collegiate career for the two schools (1,021 at Eastern Kentucky and 567 at Long Island). He played professionally in the NBL where he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1947 with Sheboygan Redskins.

Lewis loved the fast pace game, with the Orangemen learning to run the ball, and then run it some more.

Lewis was a coach that was very demanding on his players. He changed his lineups frequently playing hunches. A common ploy for Lewis was to start his reserves, and then bring in his starting lineup to play against his opponent's reserves.

Lewis was constantly in battle with school administrators, in attempts to elevate the basketball program at a school where football was the main game at the time. When his six year contract expired, Lewis resigned to take the position of athletic director at Cal-Sacramento State, citing "it's not worth all the aggravation" to remain at SU. He coached one season for Sacramento State, in 1984-1985, going 7-28. His NCAA coaching record was 208-125.

In his six seasons at Syracuse, he had turned the program around, earning two NCAA and one NIT berths."

As I was researching this an interesting factoid popped up .

SU has been playing basketball since 1900-1901 has a 1858-827 record (Stats updated through today ) and in that time has only had 7 different head coaches.



8-13 .381


17-8 .680 NIT Tournament


13-10 .565


22-6 .786 NCAA Tournament


20-6 .769 NIT Tournament 1st Round


11-14 .440

6 yrs

91-57 .615

© RLYoung 2005, 2006, 2007
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