Former IU head basketball coach Lou Watson dies at 88.

It doesn't appear to be on any of the news sites yet, but Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs is reporting via Twitter that Lou Watson, head basketball coach at IU from 1965-1971, has died at age 88. Watson, a star basketball and baseball player at IU, graduated in 1950 and became an assistant to his mentor, legendary IU coach Branch McCracken, in 1958. Watson replaced McCracken as head coach when Mac retired in 1965.

Unfortunately, Watson's record as head coach was uneven, and he was forced out after the 1970-71 season. Nevertheless, Watson led IU to the 1967 Big Ten championship and recruited reasonably well. Some of his recruits, most notably Steve Downing and Joby Wright, played key roles in the early success of Watson's successor, Bob Knight. Also, Watson coached Indianapolis Washington/Pacers legend George McGinnis in 1970-71, McGinnis's only season at IU. Watson was an athletic administrator at IU until he retired in 1987. He returned to IU in 2009 to visit with current and former players. Rest in peace, Lou, and thanks for your service to IU.

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