Sooners Mourn the Passing of John MacLeod

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN – John MacLeod, former head coach of the Oklahoma men's basketball program, has passed away at the age of 81.

A longtime NBA coach, MacLeod began his head coaching career at Oklahoma in 1967. While with the Sooners (1967-73), he compiled a winning record in five of his six seasons and a total record of 90-69 (.567). His 90 victories are the eighth most in program history.

“Our program is saddened to hear of John MacLeod's passing,” said OU head coach Lon Kruger. “Coach MacLeod had a tremendous impact on Oklahoma basketball and the game as a whole. He coached with class at both the collegiate level and in the NBA. Our Sooner family mourns with the MacLeod family during this difficult time.”

MacLeod left Norman in 1973 when he was hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. He coached in Phoenix for 14 seasons and became the winningest coach in Suns history, compiling a 579-543 record.

While at OU, MacLeod was responsible for recruiting Sooner legend Alvan Adams to Norman and coached Adams during his freshman campaign (1972-73). The two would partner again in Phoenix when MacLeod and the Suns selected Adams as the fourth overall pick of the 1975 NBA Draft.

Adams and MacLeod reached the NBA Finals in 1976, the same campaign where Adams won the 1976 NBA Rookie of the Year honor.

Throughout his career, MacLeod also spent time as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks (1987-89), New York Knicks (1990-91) and Notre Dame (1991-99).