Oct. 4, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Former Santa Clara University men's basketball coach and player Bob Feerick has been inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame's Legends Wing, the organization announced recently.
Feerick was an All-America guard for the Broncos under coach George Barsi in 1942 and was part of the Broncos' "Magicians of the Maplewood" that also included Bruce Hale, Ralph Giannini, Marty Passaglia and Jim Rickert. Upon graduation, he played for the Golden State AAU squad in Oakland that advanced to the national finals.
After entering the Navy in 1943 and serving in World War II, Feerick was a key figure in helping the Norfolk Naval Station squad to a 57-10 record in two seasons and a No. 1 ranking among service teams in 1944 and 1945. After completing his military commitment, Feerick joined the Oshkosh All-Stars for one season in the National Basketball League before moving to the Washington Capitals of the fledgling Basketball Association of America, the forerunner of the NBA.
While with the Capitals, he played for future NBA Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach and finished second in scoring in the league's inaugural season with 929 points. He also led the league in field goal and free throw percentage twice and was a three-time all-BAA selection. He served as the team's player-coach before returning to his alma mater in 1950 as the head men's basketball coach and athletic director.
In his 12 seasons as the head coach of the Broncos, Feerick led Santa Clara to four NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1952 NCAA Final Four. He coached Ken Sears to All-America honors and was a three-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Feerick recorded a record of 190-120 overall and a 77-43 mark in the first few seasons of the WCC.
During his time at Santa Clara, the nation's college basketball eyes were on the Bay Area as several of the eventual legends of the game were coaching at area schools. Pete Newell was Cal's head coach, while Phil Woolpert was leading the University of San Francisco and Howie Dallmar was at Stanford.
In 1962, Feerick left Santa Clara to become the head coach of the San Francisco Warriors of the NBA in the organization's first season in the Bay Area after moving West from Philadelphia. Wilt Chamberlain and Al Attles were the stars of that squad, that was just one season removed from Chamberlain's record-setting 100-point game. After that one season, Feerick hung-up his coaching whistle and accepted a position in the front office as the team's general manager.
He passed away on June 8, 1976.