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RIP Coach Gene Bartow, 1930 - 2012

DrJay32 put up a fan shot about Coach Bartow earlier, but it's worth a front page post. Former UCLA head coach Gene Bartow has passed away.

Gene Bartow succeeded Coach John Wooden as UCLA's head coach; Coach retired after the 1975 title game.

Prior to coming to UCLA, Coach Bartow had a number of collegiate head coaching positions, most notably at Memphis State (now the University of Memphis), where his 1973 Tigers squad finished as the national runner-up to Coach Wooden's Bill Walton-led squad. He left Memphis State for Illinois, coaching in Champaign for one season before being tapped by AD J.D. Morgan as UCLA's coach.

Bartow only lasted two seasons as coach of the Bruins. His first team went to the Final Four, where they fell to Bobby Knight's Indiana squad. Indiana went unbeaten that year on their way to a national title. His second UCLA team went to the Sweet Sixteen. Overall, Bartow had a 52-9 record as UCLA coach.

After leaving Westwood -- it's been said that Coach Bartow was never really comfortable in Los Angeles -- he became the first athletic director and head basketball coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He would coach the UAB team until 1996, winning 340 games in the process. UAB's basketball home is named Bartow Arena.

He was inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Bruins Nation sends it's most sincere condolences to the Bartow family. RIP Coach Gene Bartow.