Henry Bibby, a coach with 22 years of college and professional experience and the only person to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his ninth full season in 2004-2005 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. He is just two years removed from guiding the Trojans to only their second back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2001 and 2002 and only their third back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
USC finished 13-15 in 2004, 8-10 in the Pac-10 (sixth place). Highlighting the year was USC's second consecutive sweep of crosstown rival UCLA, a first in more than 60 years, as well as its fifth home win over Arizona in the last eight years. The Trojans showed signs of brilliance during the season, playing top-ranked Stanford down to the wire twice before falling and coming within a possession of beating Arizona for a second time in a memorable Pac-10 Tournament first-round game that ended the Trojans' string of Pac-10 Tournament final appearances at two. USC returns seven seniors from last year's squad, providing an experience-laden team Bibby hopes will return to the postseason.
The Trojans underwent a rebuilding season in 2003 as USC finished 13-17 overall, 6-12 in the Pac-10 (tied for sixth). Fielding a team made up predominantly of underclassmen, the Trojans held second-half leads in almost every game but had trouble closing them out. Troy made its second consecutive run to the Pac-10 Tournament championship game, falling to Oregon.
In 2002, he led USC to a 22-10 record that included a 12-6 finish in the Pac-10 (tied for second), a finals appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 20 wins gave USC back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1939-40. USC enjoyed its fifth winning season and fourth postseason berth (three NCAA, one NIT) under his watch. Bibby was named 2002 NABC District 15 Co-Coach of the Year.
In 2001, Bibby led USC to perhaps its greatest season ever, piloting the Trojans to their first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance under the tournament's current format. In their second NCAA Tournament appearance under Bibby, the No. 6-seeded Trojans reached the East Regional Final before losing to Duke. USC's three NCAA Tournament wins (against No. 11 seed Oklahoma State, No. 2 seed Boston College and No. 3 seed Kentucky) were its most ever in one tourney and the Trojans' final record of 24-10 matched the most wins ever in one season at USC. The Trojans finished 11-7 in the Pac-10 (tied for fourth place).
The Trojans' landmark team that Bibby guided featured a trio of NBA draft picks in forward/center Brian Scalabrine, guard Jeff Trepagnier and forward Sam Clancy. Scalabrine and Trepagnier were taken back-to-back in the second round of the 2001 draft; Scalabrine going to New Jersey with the 35th pick while Trepagnier went 36th to Cleveland. Clancy (who hurt his knee in pre-draft workouts) went in the second round of the 2002 draft to Philadelphia with the 45th pick. Clancy was the fourth Trojan taken in the NBA Draft since Bibby has been at USC (the first was Rodrick Rhodes in 1997). Elias Ayuso became the fifth Trojan under Bibby to sign with an NBA team when he inked a deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2003. Both Scalabrine (Nets) and Trepagnier (Nuggets) played for teams in the 2004 NBA playoffs, the third year in a row for Scalabrine.
In his eight years as head coach, Bibby has been instrumental in player development and has guided eight players to a combined 14 All-Pac-10 honors and six players to All-Pac-10 Freshman honors. Under Bibby, Clancy became a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Trojans (Rhodes and Scalabrine and Jeff McMillan) have earned the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award and another (Ayuso) earned Pac-10 All-Newcomer first team notice. Seven of USC's top 20 scorers of all time, and nine of its 29 1,000-point scorers have played under Bibby.
In 1999-2000, Bibby directed the Trojans to a 16-14 overall finish and a 9-9 mark in the Pac-10 (sixth place), but USC fell just short of receiving a postseason berth. The Trojans looked to be headed to the NCAA Tournament after opening the Pac-10 season 6-1, but injuries to Clancy and top reserve Jarvis Turner early in the conference schedule derailed the Trojans.
In 1998-99, Bibby directed a young Trojan squad, one with four new starters, to a 15-13 overall mark and a 7-11 finish (tied for seventh) in a strong Pac-10 field. USC earned an NIT bid for its sixth postseason appearance of the decade.
USC went 9-19 overall in 1997-98, but closed out the season with a stunning 91-90 overtime victory over then-No. 2 Arizona and a 117-71 rout of Arizona State.
In his first full season at the helm of the Trojan program, Bibby did not waste any time in moving Troy in the right direction. The 1996-97 campaign saw the Trojans finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992.
USC's 17-11 overall record (12-6 in the Pac-10) in 1996-97 represented one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation. The previous year, the Trojans went 11-19 and finished ninth in the conference. The seven-game improvement was the third-biggest turnaround in USC history and the seven-spot increase in the standings matched a school best. In addition, Bibby's 17-11 mark in 1996-97 was the best by a Trojan coach in his first full year since Forrest Twogood went 21-6 in his debut season in 1951.
He capped off the 1997 season by being selected to the Hillyard/NABC Silver All-America team, which honored exceptional players from the Class of 1972. He joined, among others, USC alum Paul Westphal.
Bibby was named USC's head coach on March 15, 1996.
"I'm very excited about Henry Bibby and USC's basketball prospects under him," said Mike Garrett, announcing Bibby's hiring. "He is well prepared and envisions the success that we seek at USC. I look forward to his years here."
Bibby joined the Trojan program in May of 1995 as an assistant coach. He was named USC's interim head coach on Feb. 7, 1996, replacing Charlie Parker. Under Bibby's direction, the shorthanded Trojans, who were down to just four active scholarship players at one point, lost their final nine games of that season.
Bibby came to USC after coaching a club team in Venezuela in 1995. He was a head coach for eight seasons in the Continental Basketball Association, including three years each with the Oklahoma City Cavalry (1992-94) and the Tulsa Fast Breakers (1989-91) and a year each with the Savannah Spirits (1988) and the Baltimore Lightning (1986). His teams made it into the CBA playoffs six times and posted a 223-213 regular season record, making him only the fourth CBA coach to post 200 wins. His 1989 Tulsa squad won the CBA title and he was named CBA Coach of the Year.
He also spent three summers (1986-88) head coaching in the United States Basketball League and was the 1986 USBL Coach of the Year while leading the Springfield Fame.
In 1987, he was a scout with the NBA's Washington Bullets. He was an assistant at Arizona State for three years (1983-85).
Bibby was the starting point guard on three NCAA title teams (1970-72) at UCLA, earning consensus All-American honors while serving as the team's captain as a senior in 1972. The Bruins went 87-3 during his varsity collegiate career (one of the losses was to USC in 1970), including 30-0 in 1972. He averaged 15.6 points as a sophomore, 11.8 as a junior and 15.7 as a senior.
He then played nine years in the National Basketball Association, averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists during his career. He was with the New York Knicks (1973-75), New Orleans Jazz (1975-76), Philadelphia 76ers (1977-80) and San Diego Clippers (1981). In his entire NBA career, Bibby played in 675 games, scored 5,775 points, handed out 2,259 assists and pulled down 1,581 rebounds. His field goal percentage was 42.4% and he sank 78.2% of his free throws.
In Bibby's rookie year of 1973, his New York Knicks won the NBA title. After being drafted in the fourth round with the 58th overall selection, Bibby was a supersub for the Knicks and known to provide "instant offense." He made two other appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1977 and 1980 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the NBA, Bibby played under several top-notch coaches, including Gene Shue, Red Holzman and Billy Cunningham.
Immediately following his NBA days, Bibby was a player and assistant coach for the 1982 Lancaster Lightning, which won the CBA title.
Some of the standouts Bibby has played with during his collegiate and professional days are Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks, Keith Wilkes, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Jerry Lucas, Dave DeBusschere, Phil Jackson, Pete Maravich and Julius Erving.
Bibby won a slew of team awards during his collegiate days in Westwood. In 1969, he won the Seymour Armond Award as UCLA's most valuable freshman player. In 1970, Bibby took home the Irv Pohlmeyer Trophy, which goes to the outstanding first-year varsity player, and the Calkins Trophy for highest free throw percentage. In 1971, he earned the NCAA Tournament Trophy for all-around excellence in the NCAA Championships. In 1972, Bibby won the Alumni Association Award for academic achievement and team contribution, in addition to his second straight NCAA Tournament Trophy.
For his achievements at UCLA, Bibby will be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in October as a member of the Bruins' Class of 2004.
Bibby was a prep All-American at Person-Albion High in Franklinton, N.C. His brother, Jim, was a pitcher in the major leagues.