One of the most notable college basketball figures over the past fifty years is Jim Valvano. Valvano was a player, a coach, and a definite motivator. Valvano was influenced to play the game of basketball by his father, who coached at a Seaford High School. Jim would become a star player at Seaford High, and went on to compete at the college level for Rutgers University. The first of Valvano’s coaching jobs were at small schools with struggling basketball programs. His first job was as an assistant at Rutgers under his former coach, Bill Foster. From there he went on to be a head coach at Johns Hopkins University, a team that had not had a winning season in ten years. Jim Valvano led the team to a 10-9 season in his first year as a head coach. After only a season a Johns Hopkins, Valvano would move on to be an assistant at Connecticut, a head coach at Bucknell, and a head coach at Iona. In 1980, Valvano would become the head coach at North Carolina State University. His time spent at North Carolina State would be controversial and emotional, and would mold him into the character that people perceived him to be. Jim Valvano’s controversial coaching ways and his passionate attitude have impacted the game of college basketball greatly. His motivational speeches and new views on team preparation will forever be remembered.
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