NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano reacts to the unfurling the 1983 National Championship banner in Reynolds Coliseum before a game in the Fall of 1983. © Roger W Winstead

Jim Valvano

Jim was an extraordinary man who touched the lives of everyone he encountered. Not only was he loving and vivacious, but he was also ambitious and focused. It was this ambition that, at the age of 17, led him to write down a list of goals on a simple index card. And it was his focus that helped him to achieve them all by the age of 36.

The following timeline is just a small taste of Jim’s big life. But it reflects a life of passion, dedication and love that he lived every day.

Born:  March 10, 1946, New York City


Died:  April 28, 1993


1963:  Seaford High School, Long Island, NY


1964–1967:  Rutgers University, degree in English

1967 Senior Athlete of the Year

Led the Scarlet Knights to a 3rd-place finish in NIT

Rutgers’ 21st-highest scorer ever with 1,122 points


1968­­–1969:  Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Johns Hopkins University (10-9)

Led the school to its first winning season in 24 years


1972–1975:  Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Bucknell University (33-42)


1975–1980:  Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Iona College

Finished with 99-47 record with two NCAA appearances


1980–1990:  Head Men’s Basketball Coach, North Carolina State University (209-114)


1983:  NC State won the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Basketball Championship


1986:  Named Athletic Director of NC State University


1990:  Signed with ABC/ESPN as a Basketball Commentator/Analyst


Jan 1992:  Won Commentator/Analyst Cable ACE Award for NCAA Basketball broadcasts


June 1992:  Diagnosed with terminal cancer


Nov 1992:  Returned to ESPN calling color commentary during NIT pre-season


Mar 1993:  Received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the first ESPY Awards ceremony. During acceptance speech, announced the formation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research (co-founded by ESPN).


Apr 1993:  Died of metastatic cancer of unknown primary origin


1993:  Inducted into Rutgers University’s Basketball Hall of Fame


1999:  Inducted into Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers University


1999:  Inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame


Although he had a varied career, Jim is most remembered for his work as a college basketball coach. He was a NCAA head coach for 19 seasons with a 346-210 record. During his tenure, he appeared in eight NCAA tournaments and won a National Championship with North Carolina State University in 1983. He was twice voted ACC Coach of the Year.