Ron Abegglen, UAA coaching giant dies at 81
Former UAA men's basketball coach Ron Abegglen has passed away. According the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Abegglen, who led the Seawolves from 1986-1991, died on Wednesday. He was 81.
Abegglen's five year reign on the Anchorage campus is still the most successful in program history. He posted a 109-45 (.708) record leading four teams to the NCAA's including a trip the finals in 1987 where the Seawolves fell to UMass-Lowell 75-72.
In December of 1988, he guided UAA to its biggest win ever when the Seawolves stunned second-ranked Michigan 70-66 at a holiday tournament in Salt Lake City. That previously unbeaten Michigan team went on to win the national championship and also featured five future NBA players. The game routinely makes the lists of greatest upsets in college basketball history and was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 in the moments category.
Following his success at UAA, the BYU graduate moved back to his home state of Utah taking the job at Weber State of the Big Sky Conference. In Ogden, he led the Wildcats to eight winning seasons including two more shockers of powerhouses Michigan State and North Carolina in the first round NCAA Tournament games.
But his four decade coaching career was also marred. In 1996 Weber State was hit was NCAA sanctions connected to improper benefits. He was also involved in a domestic dispute with his wife two years later in 1998.
Abegglen stepped down from Weber State at the end of 1999 season. He then coached in a British league in London for a couple of years before settling back down in Utah.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
MORE FROM KTVA: