Coach Stan Watts, 88, Passes Away Last Night | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Coach Stan Watts, 88, Passes Away Last Night

Legendary BYU basketball coach Stan Watts passed away Thursday evening at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo following surgery.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, preceded by a viewing on Monday evening.

For over 30 years Coach Stan Watts overcame cancer.

The 88-year-old former BYU men's athletic director and basketball coach had a record of 372-254 (.594) from 1949-72, but perhaps his greatest victory was overcoming cancer.

In 1970 cancer was detected near Coach Watts' prostate gland. After 20 radiation treatments, Watts had surgery in February, 1971. Doctors Duane Davis, Steven Hatch and Wendell Vance removed many of Watts' organs including the bladder, the prostate gland, the appendix, lymph nodes and nine inches of colon.

Watts spent 12 hours on the operating table and 20 days in the hospital from that 1971 operation before returning to coach.

Watts had overcome a stroke, hip surgery, brain surgery and a colostomy all within the past two years.

He served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, chaired the 1976 U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee and was BYU's athletic director from 1972-76. His BYU basketball teams won eight conference championships.

Watts is a member of seven halls of fame. He was inducted on March 6,1986 to the Naismith Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He was a 1980 inductee of the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame, a 1992 inductee to the Utah Summer Games Hall of Fame, a 1978 inductee to the Utah Old Time Athletes Association Hall of Fame, a 1977 inductee to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, a 1977 inductee to the Oklahoma City Hall of Fame, and a 1972 inductee to the Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame along with Cougar All-American Elwood Romney. Additionally his 1951 and 1966 National Intivational Tournament Championship teams were inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976 and 1980.

Watts served as Utah's honorary State Chairman for the 1972 Cancer Crusade. He served one year as BYU baseball coach when the school revived the program in 1948, was a BYU assistant football coach for the backfield from 1947-1948, was named assistant director of athletics in 1949 and also head track coach in 1949.

He graduated from Murray High School in Utah, attended Weber Junior College and graduated from BYU in 1938. He was preceded by the passing of his wife, Emily, this past February.