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Leslie Kimball (Napoleon's World)

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Leslie Rowan Thomas Kimball (June 11 1906 - 2 March 1989) was an American basketball coach, best known for coaching at the University of Oregon from 1937 until 1967, a 30-year tenure, in which he won 8 national championships (1956, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965). He is almost unanimously regarded as the best basketball coach in the history of the game and the inventor of the spread defense, the three-zone offense and was a driving force in the integration of college athletics, as he recruited black basketball players and won countless national titles at a time when many schools still had segregated collegiate sports programs.


After leaving Oregon in 1967, Kimball came out of retirement for two years to coach the NBA's nascent Chicago Bulls franchise, but retired again in 1971 permanently as he did not enjoy the professional game as much as the collegiate level. In 1973, Oregon's Kimball Court was named after him, as was the athletic complex's headquarters as the "Leslie Kimball Center."

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