UNO Hall of Famer Ron Greene Passes at Age 82

College Sports

Photo Credit: UNO Athletics

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Athletics is saddened to announce the passing of UNO Hall of Famer and the men’s basketball program’s inaugural coach Ron Greene at age 82. Coach Greene passed away on March 31 at Anna Mae Own Residential Hospice House in Murray, Kentucky. Green was born December 29, 1938 in Terre Haute, Indiana.  

He paved the way for the Privateers’ move up to NCAA Division I and is on the Mount Rushmore of coaches on the Lakefront. The University of New Orleans’ first-ever basketball coach and leader in wins, Green compiled a 146-65 record in eight seasons (1969-77). Four of his teams qualified for NCAA Division II tournaments, finishing fourth in 1974 and second in 1975.  

Coach Green led the Privateers to a No. 1 national Associated Press (AP) ranking in 1970-71, just the second season as a program, No. 15 in 1973-74 and No. 2 in 1974-75. 

“Today we honor the passing of the founder of our beloved program here at UNO, Coach Greene,” said head coach Mark Slessinger. “Coach had such an incredible legacy of building student-athletes and developing great coaches. What he and Coach (Ron) Maestri were able to build from scratch here should be a movie. Taking the Privateers to the #1 ranking in the country in the second year of the program and to the championship game in Evansville just a few short years later was incredible.” 

“I was always grateful for the time that Coach Greene made to talk and visit with me,” continued Slessinger. “The regard in which his former players and coaches hold him is what any coach longs for.  He was simply one of the all-time greats.” 

Green was pivotal in the move to DI for the 1975-76 school year and the move to the Sun Belt Conference in 1976-77. He was inducted into the UNO Hall of Fame in 1989 and was twice named Louisiana Collegiate Coach of the Year.  

With three 20-win seasons, Greene led the Privateers to a 23-3 record in just the second season as a program. He went 9-6 in NCAA Regional and National Tournament contests.  

Funeral arrangements are currently incomplete at the Heritage Chapel of Imes Funeral Home, 1804 Highway 121 Bypass North, Murray, Ky. 42071. 

{Press release courtesy of UNO Athletics}

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