staff, September 29, 2011

Throughout the Big Ten Conference's illustrious history, many coaches have defined excellence, both on and off the field. Banners, busts and statues commemorate their achievements, and pay tribute to their lasting impact. They are the coaches by which all others are measured.

Beginning this fall, BTN will celebrate these legendary coaches with another 12 installments of the series Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover and hosted by college sports broadcaster Keith Jackson. The series debuts with a special airing of the episode that features  legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler. The program airs Saturday following the Minnesota at Michigan game, at approximately 4 PM ET. Episodes will air in their regular time slot at 8 PM ET on Tuesdays.

The Schembechler episode of Big Ten Icons includes new one-on-one interviews with former Michigan coaches Lloyd Carr and Gary Moeller, Michigan athletic director and former player Dave Brandon, former Michigan player Jim Brandstatter, former Ohio State star Archie Griffin, former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz and many others.

"If you could hang in there and play for this guy and put up with the intensity that he was going to throw at you, he?s going to get that championship ring for you and we all left here with one, or two, or three," Brandon says in the episode.

The series which will feature one coach from each Big Ten university, runs through the end of football season and into the winter. The coaches that will be featured are:

  • Illinois? Lou Henson:  Won 423 games in 21 years as the head basketball coach at Illinois? guided the Illini to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1989 Final Four and the Elite Eight in 1984? his 214 conference wins ranked third all-time at the time of his retirement.
  • Indiana?s Bob Knight: Holds the NCAA record for most coaching wins at the NCAA Division I level with 902? was the head basketball coach at Indiana from 1971 to 2000? led the Hoosiers to 11 conference crowns and NCAA titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987? was honored six times as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
  • Iowa?s Dan Gable: Led the Iowa wrestling program from 1977 to 1997 to 17 NCAA title, including nine consecutive championships? guided the Hawkeyes to 21 straight Big Ten titles as head coach? posted a 355-21-5 career dual meet record? coached the United States Olympic freestyle wrestling team in 1980, 1984 and 2000.
  • Michigan?s Bo Schembechler: Produced a 194-48-5 record in 21 seasons at Michigan? won or shared 13 Big Ten titles? named as Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times… never had a losing season? 15 of his Michigan teams finished in the Associated Press Top 10? every four-year player during the Schembechler era left Ann Arbor with a Big Ten championship ring.
  • Michigan State?s Jud Heathcote: Won 339 games in 19 years as the head basketball coach with Michigan State? took Michigan State to three Big Ten championships and nine NCAA Tournaments,  including four Sweet 16 appearances, two berths in the Elite 8 and the 1979 national title.
  • Minnesota?s Herb Brooks: Won three national championships in his seven seasons at the helm of the University of Minnesota hockey program, including titles in 1974, 1976 and 1979? coached the United States? gold medal Olympic hockey team in 1980, better known as the ?Miracle on Ice? team.
  • Nebraska?s Tom Osborne: Averaged more than 10 wins per season during his 25-year reign as the Huskers? head football coach? led Nebraska to three NCAA titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997? won 14 conference titles, including six crowns in his last seven years? took Nebraska to a bowl game in each of his 25 seasons.
  • Northwestern?s Kelly Amonte-Hiller: Entering her 11th year as the head women?s lacrosse coach at Northwestern? has transformed the Wildcats into one of the elite college programs in any sport? constructed one of the most impressive dynasties in NCAA history by winning six national titles in seven seasons? owns a 29-2 NCAA Tournament record and an overall mark of 162-10 since 2004.
  • Ohio State?s Woody Hayes: Spent 28 seasons as the head football coach at Ohio State and won 13 conference championships and national titles in 1954, 1957 and 1968? led the Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowl appearances and was a three-time recipient of the College Football Coach of the Year Award.
  • Penn State?s Joe Paterno: The Nittany Lions? head football coach since 1966? the first FBS coach to reach 400 career victories, the most of any FBS football coach? has coached more bowl game wins than any coach in history? has coached two national championship teams and five undefeated teams? one of three active coaches already inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Purdue?s Gene Keady: Won 512 games in 25 seasons as the head basketball coach at Purdue? took the Boilermakers to 17 NCAA Tournaments, including a pair of Elite Eight appearances and five trips to the Sweet 16? won or shared six Big Ten Conference championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times? finished his Purdue career with the second-most coaching wins in Big Ten history.
  • Wisconsin?s Barry Alvarez: Resurrected the Badgers football program into a national power? spent 16 seasons as the head coach at Wisconsin, winning Big Ten titles in 1993, 1998 and 1999? Alvarez is the only Big Ten coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls and the only coach in college football, regardless of conference, to win three Rose Bowls.

 About BTN: A joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With more than 800 events, all in HD, the 24/7 network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. Events include football, men?s and women?s basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Championship events; studio shows; coaches? shows; and classic games. The network televises and streams more Olympic sporting events and women?s sports than has ever been aired on any other network. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation?s finest universities. The groundbreaking Student U initiative provides real-world experience for students interested in careers in sports television. The network is available to more than 80 million homes across the United States and Canada, and currently has agreements with more than 300 affiliates, including AT&T U-Verse, Atlantic Broadband, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Rogers Cable (Canada), Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct (Canada), Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. For updated information, go to