Bill Henderson (coach)

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Bill Henderson
Bill Henderson Baylor.jpg
Henderson from the 1950 Round-Up
Sport(s) Basketball
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1941–1943, 1945–1961 Baylor
Head coaching record
Overall 201–233 (.463)
Tournaments NCAA: 3–5 (.375)
Accomplishments and honors
NCAA Runner-up (1948)
NCAA Final Four (1950)
4x SWC Champion (1946, 1948–1950)

R. E. "Bill" Henderson (1901 – 1979) was an American basketball coach. He was the head men's basketball coach at Baylor University from 1941–42 to 1942–43, and from 1945–46 to 1960–61; in his 18 seasons at Baylor, Henderson had a win–loss record of 201–233, and his teams made three NCAA Tournament appearances.[1]

Prior to becoming a college head coach, Henderson coached the Temple High School boys' basketball team, which reached the 1928 state championship game, although Henderson's Temple team lost to Austin High School in the title game, it was eventually awarded the championship because an ineligible player had been on Austin's roster.[2] In Henderson's first two seasons in charge of Baylor, the team finished with records of 11–9 and 6–14, after his two-season break, he guided the team to a 25–5 record, Southwest Conference championship, and NCAA Tournament berth in 1945–46.[1] In the 1948 NCAA Tournament, the Bears reached the title game, rallying from sizable deficits against Washington and Kansas State along the way. Baylor faced Kentucky for the national championship, losing 58–42,[3] it was the first time a Southwest Conference team had advanced to the championship game in an NCAA Tournament.[4]

Henderson's team reached the Final Four of the 1950 NCAA Tournament, losing to Bradley 68–66.[5] The Bears did not return to the NCAA Tournament during Henderson's coaching tenure, and their record declined to 4–20 in his final season, 1960–61,[1] after the season, he announced his resignation.[6] Henderson has been noted for barring his players from smoking, drinking, and swearing,[5] and for what author Allan Zullo called his "nervous habit of tying and untying his shoes at critical points in a game so he wouldn't have to watch a play unfold."[7] The Texas Sports Hall of Fame inducted Henderson in 1976.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Baylor Bears (Southwest Conference) (1941–1943)
1941–42 Baylor 11–9 6–6 T-3rd
1942–43 Baylor 6–14 3–9 7th
Baylor Bears (Southwest Conference) (1945–1961)
1945–46 Baylor 25–5 11–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1946–47 Baylor 11–11 6–6 4th
1947–48 Baylor 24–8 11–1 1st NCAA Runner-up
1948–49 Baylor 14–10 9–3 T-1st
1949–50 Baylor 14–13 8–4 T-1st NCAA Final Four
1950–51 Baylor 8–16 3–9 6th
1951–52 Baylor 6–18 5–7 T-3rd
1952–53 Baylor 10–11 6–7 4th
1953–54 Baylor 12–11 6–6 T-3rd
1954–55 Baylor 13–11 7–5 4th
1955–56 Baylor 6–17 3–9 T-5th
1956–57 Baylor 9–15 6–6 T-3rd
1957–58 Baylor 5–19 3–11 8th
1958–59 Baylor 11–13 7–7 4th
1959–60 Baylor 12–12 6–8 6th
1960–61 Baylor 4–20 2–12 8th
Baylor: 201–233 (.463) 108–117 (.480)
Total: 201–233 (.463)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b c "Bill Henderson". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Hendry, Ron (2006). Athens' Day in the Sun: The Story of an Early High School Dynasty. Hendry Publishing. pp. 205–207. ISBN 9780977435005. 
  3. ^ Zullo, Allan (2007). March to Madness: The Ultimate Fan's Trivia Book. Running Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 9780786750412. 
  4. ^ a b "Inductees: Henderson, R.E." Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. Random House. 2009. p. 88. ISBN 9780345513922. 
  6. ^ "Bill Henderson Quits Baylor Basket Job". Chicago Tribune. United Press International. March 9, 1961. p. D3. 
  7. ^ Zullo, pp. 103–104.