Norm Stewart

Norm Stewart
Norman (Norm) Stewart
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Retired Head coach
Team Missouri
Record 634-333 (.656)
Biographical details
Born January 20, 1935 (1935-01-20) (age 76)
Place of birth United States Shelbyville, Missouri
Playing career
1953–1956 Missouri
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Northern Iowa
Head coaching record
Overall 731-375 (.661)

Norman E. (Norm) Stewart (born January 20, 1935) is a retired American college basketball coach. He coached at the University of Northern Iowa (then known as State College of Iowa) from 1961 to 1967, but is best known for his career with the University of Missouri from 1967 until 1999. He retired with an overall coaching record of 731-375 in 38 seasons. The court at Mizzou Arena (and previously at the Hearnes Center) is named in his honor.


Early life

Stewart was born in Shelby County, Missouri. He grew up the son of a gas station owner around the small farming community of Shelbyville, and graduated from high school there in 1952. After high school Stewart enrolled at the University of Missouri, becoming a standout in both basketball and baseball for the Tigers. Stewart was a two-time team captain, and all-Big Seven selection in basketball. His 24.1 scoring average per-game in 1956 ranks 4th in school history and earned him a spot on the 1956 Helms Foundation All-American team. Stewart also had a solid career on the mound, helping pitch Mizzou to the 1954 NCAA Championship. It was while at MU he met the love of his life, Virginia (Zimmerley) Stewart. Following graduation from Mizzou, Stewart was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA in 1956, playing one season at forward. He also signed a contract with Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles, but never played at the big-league level.[1]

Coaching career

Following his brief career as a professional athlete, Norm Stewart returned to the University of Missouri in 1957 to earn his master's degree. He also served as an assistant football coach under Sparky Stalcup and an assistant baseball coach under Hi Simmons. In 1961 Stewart and his family made the move to Cedar Falls, Iowa as Norm took over as head basketball coach at the State College Of Iowa (now University of Northern Iowa). In six seasons Stewarts' Panthers compiled a record of 97 wins, 42 losses, and two conference championships. March 10, 1967 is a date that will long bring joy to the hearts of Mizzou Tiger fans, for it was on that day Norm Stewart was named head basketball coach at his alma mater. Below are some of the highlights of his 32-year tenure as the "Top Tiger":

  • 8 Big Eight Conference regular-season championships.
  • 6 Big Eight Conference post-season tournament titles.
  • 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including two elite eights.
  • 5 NIT post-season tournament appearances.
  • 1 CCA post-season tournament appearance.
  • 1982 UPI National Coach Of The Year and 1994 Associated Press Coach of the Year
  • Won 634 games at Missouri--far and away the most in school history, and more than MU had won in its entire 60-year basketball history prior to Stewart's arrival.
  • Lifetime record of 728-374 (22nd best mark in NCAA history)
  • Seventeen seasons with 20 wins or more.
  • Coached 9 All-American players and 21 First-Team All-Conference players

Another interesting note on Stewart and the Missouri Tigers is how he treated their rivalry with border state rival, the Kansas Jayhawks. During away games in which the Tigers played against a Kansas team, Coach Stewart would refuse to have his team lodge, dine, or fill their gas tanks because of the taxes that would support the rival school.

Stewart's intensity on the sidelines earned him the nickname "Stormin' Norman."

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
State College of Iowa (North Central Conference) (1961–1967)
1961-1962 Northern Iowa 19-9 8-4
1962-1963 Northern Iowa 15-8 8-4
1963-1964 Northern Iowa 23-4 11-1
1964-1965 Northern Iowa 16-7 8-4
1965-1966 Northern Iowa 13-7 9-3
1966-1967 Northern Iowa 11-11 6-6
Northern Iowa: 97-42 50-22
Missouri (Big 8 Conference/Big 12 Conference) (1967–1999)
1967-1968 Missouri 10-16 5-9 6th
1968-1969 Missouri 14-11 7-7 5th
1969-1970 Missouri 15-11 7-7 T-3rd
1970-1971 Missouri 17-9 9-5 T-2nd
1971-1972 Missouri 21-6 10-4 2nd NIT First Round
1972-1973 Missouri 21-6 9-5 T-2nd NIT First Round
1973-1974 Missouri 12-14 3-11 T-7th
1974-1975 Missouri 18-9 9-5 3rd NCIT - First Round
1975-1976 Missouri 26-5 12-2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1976-1977 Missouri 21-8 9-5 3rd
1977-1978 Missouri 14-16 4-10 T-6th NCAA First Round
1978-1979 Missouri 13-15 8-6 T-2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1979-1980 Missouri 25-6 11-3 1st
1980-1981 Missouri 22-10 10-4 1st NCAA First Round
1981-1982 Missouri 27-4 12-2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1982-1983 Missouri 26-8 12-2 1st NCAA Second Round
1983-1984 Missouri 16-14 5-9 T-6th
1984-1985 Missouri 18-14 7-7 T-3rd NIT First Round
1985-1986 Missouri 21-14 8-6 T-3rd NCAA First Round
1986-1987 Missouri 24-10 11-3 1st NCAA First Round
1987-1988 Missouri 19-11 7-7 4th NCAA First Round
1988-1989 Missouri 29-8 10-4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1989-1990 Missouri 26-6 12-2 1st NCAA First Round
1990-1991 Missouri 20-10 8-6 4th
1991-1992 Missouri 21-9 8-6 T-2nd NCAA Second Round
1992-1993 Missouri 19-14 5-9 T-7th NCAA First Round
1993-1994 Missouri 28-4 14-0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1994-1995 Missouri 20-9 8-6 4th NCAA Second Round
1995-1996 Missouri 18-15 6-8 6th NIT Second Round
1996-1997 Missouri 16-17 5-11 10th
1997-1998 Missouri 17-15 8-8 T-5th NIT First Round
1998-1999 Missouri 20-9 11-5 T-2nd NCAA First Round
Missouri: 634-333 270-179
Total: 731-375

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

NCAA penalties and probation

In 1990, the NCAA placed Missouri's basketball program on probation for two years and banned the team from that season's post-season tournaments for major violations of rules regarding recruiting, benefits for athletes and irregularities in academics that occurred under Stewart from 1985 through 1989. The NCAA also imposed limits on the Tigers' recruiting practices and the number of scholarships that could be offered in the 1991-92 and 1992-93 academic years. Two of Stewart's assistant coaches, Rich Daly and Bob Sunvold, were forced to resign over the scandal, but Stewart was able to remain as Missouri's coach.[2]

Health issues & retirement

In 1989, Stewart was diagnosed with colon cancer, missing the final 14 games of the 1989-90 season. He underwent invasive surgery and chemotherapy and was able to return to coaching the following season.[3] Stewart's assistant, Rich Daly, took over as interim coach for the rest of the season, but Missouri credits the entire season to Stewart.

The 1990s were a time of both highs and lows for Mizzou basketball, with the highlight being 1994 when the Tigers went a perfect 14-0 in conference play. For that special season, Norm Stewart was named College Coach Of The Year by the Associated Press and five other leading organizations. Following another winning 1998-99 season, the Stewart Era came to an end as he announced his retirement on April 1, 1999. At his retirement, he'd had a hand in over 60 percent of Missouri's wins.

Although retired from coaching, Stormin' Norman continues to storm through life with a busy itinerary of meetings, speaking engagements, travel, and color commentary on Mizzou basketball broadcasts. Stewart is also a member of the council of Coaches Vs. Cancer, a program he founded following his own cancer battle. After collapsing at a Dallas, Texas restaurant in May 2007, Stewart had a pacemaker installed. In late July 2008 Stewart underwent successful open-heart surgery, an aortic valve replacement, at a Columbia, Missouri hospital.

Halls Of Fame

Norm Stewart's achievements on the basketball court and baseball diamond were recognized in 1990 as he led he inaugural class of the MU Athletics Hall Of Fame. He was again given special recognition by the Hall for his coaching career in February 2008. His highest honor came in November, 2007 as Stewart was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.[4]


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