HOUSTON – Funeral services have been set for University of Houston Hall of Fame Head Coach Guy V. Lewis, who passed away Thanksgiving morning.
A public viewing will be held from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, at the UH Chapel (3841 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77204) on the UH campus. Those planning to attend the viewing should park at the TDECU Stadium Garage, which provides various rates for parking.
Following the viewing, members of Lewis’ family will be recognized at halftime of the Men’s Basketball game vs. Murray State with a special memorial video shown.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday at First United Methodist Church (1320 Main St., Houston, TX 77002). Family members have asked all attending the funeral to wear red. Lewis will be laid to rest in a private ceremony following the service.
At 1 p.m., Thursday, a reception will be held for family members, former players and friends in the John O’Quinn Great Hall on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Guy V. Lewis Endowment under Houston Athletics. All donations should be made payable to the University of Houston and sent to University of Houston Athletics, 3204 Cullen Blvd., Ste. 2004, Houston, TX 77024.
As the Cougars’ head coach from 1956 to 1986, Lewis assembled a resume that featured a 592-279 record, five NCAA Final Four appearances, including three straight from 1982 to 1984, six Southwest Conference championships, 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and 17 postseason berths.
He coached some of the greatest names in Houston and college basketball history, including Hayes, who was the 1968 National Player of the Year, and All-Americans Olajuwon and Drexler in the early 1980s as part of the legendary Phi Slama Jama teams
In 1996, those three players were named part of the NBA's Top 50 Greatest Players list, making Lewis and North Carolina's Dean Smith the only head coaches to work with three players from that illustrious group in college.
Hayes (1990), Drexler (2004) and Olajuwon (2008) capped their careers with enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Lewis joined his three most famous players with his enshrinement in 2013.
Lewis remains one of only seven coaches in NCAA history to compete in nine or more Final Four games with one program (24, John Wooden, UCLA; 19, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; 19, Dean Smith, North Carolina; 11, Adolph Rupp, Kentucky; 10 Denny Crum, Louisville and 9 Bob Knight, Indiana).
He was recognized as the 1968 National Coach of the Year and received a similar honor from the Associated Press in 1983 when his Phi Slama Jama team posted a 31-3 record and advanced to the first of two NCAA National Championship games.
In 2007, he was honored with induction into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
AN AWARD-WINNING PLAYER
While his coaching career earns the most attention, it is easy to forget that Lewis was a talented student-athlete for the first two Houston teams in school history. He was a co-captain of Houston's first two teams and was a two-time All-Lone Star Conference First-Team selection.
He remains the only person in Houston Athletics history to be inducted into the Hall of Honor as both a student-athlete and as a coach.
Following his playing career, he served as an assistant for his coach Alden Pasche beginning in 1953 before assuming the head coach position in 1956.
Lewis' influence continues to be felt off the court to this day. In 1968, he was the architect of the Game of the Century between No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Houston.
That game drew more than 52,000 fans inside the Houston Astrodome. It was the first regular-season college basketball game to be televised nationally and demonstrated the nationwide (and soon-to-be) worldwide popularity of college basketball on television and in large arenas.
Early in his career, Lewis played a key role in the integration of college basketball in the South. He successfully recruited and welcomed Hayes and Don Chaney to Houston Basketball as the first African-American student-athletes in program history and some of the earliest African-American players in the region.