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Press Maravich
Title Head coach
Sport Basketball
Born August 29, 1915
Place of birth Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Died April 15, 1987
Place of death Covington, Louisiana
Career highlights
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
West Virginia Wesleyan
Davis & Elkins
NC State
Appalachian State

Petar "Press" Maravich (August 29, 1915–April 15, 1987), a first-generation American of Serbian descent, was a popular college and professional basketball coach. He received the nickname "Press" for always having gossip-styled updates in his hometown of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb. Maravich Sr. also served in the United States Naval Air Corps during World War II.

Despite a long and distinguished career as a player and coach, Maravich may best be remembered as "Pistol" Pete Maravich's father. Maravich graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 1941 and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity.


Playing and coaching career

After college he played professional basketball with the Youngstown Bears (1945–1946) of the National Basketball League and the Pittsburgh Ironmen (1946–1947) of the Basketball Association of America.

Press Maravich's first head coaching job at the college level was West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1949–1950. From there he went on to become head coach of his alma mater, Davis & Elkins, 1950–1952. He had previously served as an assistant under Red Brown from 1947 to 1949.

Maravich was head coach of the Tigers of Clemson University from 1956–1962. He then went to North Carolina State University to be an assistant coach under Everett Case. Maravich took over the head coaching duties when health problems, namely cancer, forced Case to retire early in the 1964–1965 season. Maravich led the Wolfpack to the Atlantic Coast Conference title that season. Maravich left for Louisiana State University in April 1966 where he coached his son, Pete Maravich. Upon offering the LSU scholarship to "Pistol," "Press" told his boy that "If you don't sign this ... don't ever come into my house again." In spite of coaching his prolific son for half of his coaching career at LSU, Maravich had an overall losing record at the school. Maravich was replaced at LSU by Dale Brown in 1972. He then when on to coach the Mountaineers of Appalachian State before retiring from coaching in 1975. Maravich returned to coaching in the early 1980s as associate head coach at Campbell University.


Basketball head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats (WVIAC) (1949–1950)
1949–1950 West Virginia Wesleyan 14–10
West Virginia Wesleyan: 14–10
Davis & Elkins Senators (WVIAC) (1950–1952)
1950–1951 Davis & Elkins 18–11
1951–1952 Davis & Elkins 19–10
Davis & Elkins: 37–21
Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1956–1962)
1956–1957 Clemson 7–17
1957–1958 Clemson 8–16
1958–1959 Clemson 8–16
1959–1960 Clemson 10–16
1960–1961 Clemson 10–16
1961–1962 Clemson 12–15
Clemson: 55–96
NC State Wolfpack (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1964–1966)
1964–1965 NC State 20–4
1965–1966 NC State 18–9
NC State: 38–13
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1966–1972)
1966–1967 LSU 3–23
1967–1968 LSU 14–12
1968–1969 LSU 13–13
1969–1970 LSU 22–10
1970–1971 LSU 14–12
1971–1972 LSU 10–16
LSU: 76–86
Appalachian State Mountaineers (Southern Conference) (1972–1975)
1972–1973 Appalachian State 6–20 3-8 7th
1973–1974 Appalachian State 5–20 1–11 8th
1974–1975 Appalachian State 3–23 1–11 8th
Appalachian State: 14–63 5–30
Total: 234–289

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion


Petar Maravich was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 1985. During a basketball clinic in Israel signs of his condition appeared when he had begun to urinate blood. Due to his son's, Pete Maravich's, strong belief in holistic healing and herbal medication at that point in his life, proper cancer treatment was delayed for too long to be of significant effect to his condition. Press eventually was persuaded to receive proper treatment for his condition at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, but he cancelled before being admitted. After some time, on February 11, 1987, Press and son Pete flew to Hanover, Germany for an experimental protocol treatment that lasted for 11 days; symptoms such as coughing subsided while the treatment had no effect on the cancer. Through the next two months, Press's condition deteriorated while Pete took constant care of him with his sister, Diana. Press Maravich lived his last days in Highland Park Hospital in Covington, Louisiana where he died shortly before 6:30 p.m., April 15, 1987. Press Maravich lived just long enough to see Pete selected as a possible member into the Basketball Hall of Fame, but not long enough to see him officially inducted in May 1987. Pete Maravich is quoted as saying, "I'll see you soon." to his father immediately after his death; Pete Maravich died 9 months later on January 5, 1988.

Further reading

  • Kriegel, Mark (2007). Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-8497-6.  
  • Federman, Wayne and Terrill, Marshall (2006). Maravich. SportClassic Books. ISBN 1-894963-52-0.  
  • Gutman, Bill (1972). Pistol Pete Maravich: The making of a basketball superstar. Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-448-01973-6.  
  • Towle, Mike (2000). I Remember Pete Maravich. Nashville: Cumberland House. ISBN 1-58182-148-4.  


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