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Branch McCracken (June 9, 1908 – June 4, 1970) was a college men's basketball coach.

As a player at Indiana, the Monrovia, Indiana native was a three-year letter winner for Hall of Fame coach Everett Dean. At 6-4 and 200 lb (91 kg)., McCracken played center, forward and guard, pacing the Hoosiers in scoring for three years.

After his college career, McCracken played professional basketball for a few local and barnstorming teams, most notably the Indianapolis Kautskys with John Wooden and Frank Beard. This was often done while he was also coaching or working at another job and involved long car trips.

As a head coach, McCracken guided Ball State University (1930-38) and Indiana University (1938-43, 1946-65) to a 93-41 and 364-174 record, respectively. He coached two NCAA Championship teams (1940 and 1953). He led Ball State to the school's only victory over the Hoosiers in school history in a year the Cardinals went 17-4. In 1948, McCracken was responsible for recruiting Bill Garrett who became the first African American player in Big Ten Conference varsity basketball history.

From 1943 to 1946, McCracken served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy, in World War II.

McCracken was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1960. He was also honored by Monrovia Jr.-Sr. High School when his name was given to the main gymnasium.

See also


NCAA, NCAA March Madness: Cinderellas, Superstars, and Champions from the NCAA Men's Final Four : Chicago: Triumph Books, 2004. ISBN 1-57243-665-4

External links



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