LEGEND LOST: Coach Johnny Orr Dies

Posted on: 10:14 am, December 31, 2013, by , updated on: 02:17pm, December 31, 2013

Johny Orr Memorial Small

Iowa State University has announced legendary men’s basketball coach Johnny Orr has passed away at the age of 86.

Orr coached at Iowa State from 1980 to 1994, compiling a record of 218-200. He retired as the winningest coach in Iowa State men’s basketball history.

Current Cyclone head men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg played for Orr for three years while at ISU and calls Orr his hero.

“As a kid, just to see him walk out of that tunnel was what you waited for on game nights. Just to see his enthusiasm and passion. He was a father figure to so many of us. He impacted so many lives and made all of us better people. Not only was he a great basketball coach, he was even a better person,” says Hoiberg.

Orr leaves behind a wife, three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one daughter.

Funeral arrangements for Orr are still being made.

For more Johnny Orr stories click here.


  • Not the way to end 2013, RIP Mr. Orr, you were Hilton Magic’s high priest.


  • Patty Grove says:

    May the magic of Hilton be with you forever Johnny!!! Thoughts and prayers to all your family. You will be missed.

  • Jim Pankey says:

    My mom went to Pana High School in Pana, Illinois. Taylorville High School beat Pana High School all four years she was in High School. The year my mom was a senior Pana beat Taylorville in the basketball tournment. I moved to Michigan when I was younger. I went to Midland High School. I talked to Johnny Orr and have his autograph on the program that I bought. Not a good way to end 2013.

    Thank you,
    Jim Pankey

  • will always remember getting ice cold water from coach Orr and his wife when the weather was very hot out when i worked on the trash route

  • Well here is what i think Coach Orr has went to Establish Hilton magic North way north. RIP Coach Orr You will be missed

  • joe says:

    Thanks for your Passion, we love ya Coach

  • Kerry says:

    Thanks for the memories Johnny. The Cyclone Nation lost a true friend today. We are all going to miss you Coach, RIP

  • Barry L. Kenney says:

    I will miss all those wonderful times I spent with Johnny both working together and lunches we used to go on for the past 20 years. Oh those wonderful stories and advice he’d share with me I will never forget.

  • ISU will never forget Coach Orr.

  • Jonathan Duteau says:

    An absolute legend!!! Still remember sitting behind his seats court side after his retirement…stories that I will cherish forever. I believe he was greeted in the afterlife with “Herrrrrrrrre’s Johnny!!!” You will be missed Coach!

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