Basketball's Jerry Oliver dies: Coached IU, Pacers and high school champs

Led Washington HS to 65 state title
Oliver, Jerry.PNG
Posted at 4:02 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 16:12:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Jerry Oliver coached high school, college and pro basketball in a career that landed him in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

He's the answer to a great trivia question—who was the last person to coach the Indiana University Men's Basketball Team before the Bob Knight era?

Oliver has died in Indianapolis at the age of 89.

He first made headlines in 1965, coaching Indianapolis Washington High School to a boy's state title. At Washington, he coached stars Billy Keller and George McGinnis.

Oliver left Washington to become an assistant under Lou Watson at IU.

He was head coach for the last game of the 1971 season after Watson resigned. Oliver also took over the Indiana head coaching duties during the previous season while Watson was recovering from surgery. Overall, Oliver was 4-17 as IU's head coach during a down period in the school's basketball history.

After leaving Bloomington, Oliver coached Warren Central High School, then joined the Pacers where he was an assistant under Bobby Leonard.

Oliver was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.