Blair graduate and DeMatha basketball coach Morgan Wootten retires

Nov. 11, 2002, midnight | By Zach Mellman | 21 years ago

Blair graduate steps down after 46 stellar seasons

Morgan Wootten, a Blair graduate, who has coached DeMatha Catholic High School's basketball team since 1956, retired on Wednesday, November 6. The local legend's teams finished with a record of 1,274-192. Wootten's lifetime winning percentage was .874 and DeMatha was ranked first in the area 22 times in the past 37 seasons. He has won more games than any basketball coach on the high school, college, or professional level, men's or women's, ever.

Wootten's accomplishments include being named Naismith Men's Prep Coach of the 20th Century and, in 1976, Washingtonian of the Year. In addition, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. Nearly 200 of Wootten's players went on to play in college and 13 have played in the NBA, including Adrian Dantley and Danny Ferry.

Wootten graduated from Blair in 1950, having been a three-year letter winning guard, and then attended Montgomery College for one year before graduating from the University of Maryland in 1955. He went on to coach St. Joseph's High School in 1951 and St. John's from 1953-1955.

Wootten, 71, said he retired because he "would rather do it on the way up than the way down." In his 46th and last season, DeMatha, located in Hyattsville, won its final 18 games and finished ranked first in the area yet again.

His most illustrious victory occurred in 1965 when DeMatha ended the 71 game winning streak of New York's Power Memorial, a team led by Lew Alcindor, who became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Statistics from The Washington Post

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Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »

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