Former Memphis coach Gene Bartow dies of cancer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former Memphis coach Gene Bartow dies of cancer

(WMC-TV) – A giant name in Memphis basketball history: Gene Bartow, the former Tigers Basketball coach, has died.

The 81-year-old died Tuesday after a two year battle with cancer.

Bartow led the Tigers program from 1970 to 1974, coaching the late Larry Finch and his Tiger teammates to the 1973 NCAA National Championship game against UCLA.

While the Tigers lost that game, Bartow became a beloved figure in Memphis.

In fact, the Grizzlies made him president of Hoops LP, and he died as president of the company that runs the NBA team and FedEx Forum.

Bartow made his name in the college game.

At FedEx Forum 2 years ago, a large banner was unfurled honoring Bartow for his achievements and induction into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

The Missouri native coached at two high schools and six universities, including Memphis, UCLA and UAB where he served as basketball coach and athletic director.

Bartow was a passionate coach at court-side and a soft-spoken, first class gentleman the rest of the time.

Back in 2008, when the U of M reached the NCAA Finals for the second time, Coach Bartow reflected on what that achievement meant for Memphis.

Bartow is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ruth, one daughter and two sons and eight grandchildren.

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