Lou Henson

Basketball Player
Born Jan 10, 1932

Lou Henson is a former collegiate basketball coach. He retired as the all time leader in victories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 423 victories and New Mexico State with 289 victories. Overall he had 779 victories, putting him in sixth place on the all-time list. Henson began his coaching career at Las Cruces High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Henson was head coach of the varsity for four seasons, and won state championships in 1959, 1960, and 1961.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Lou Henson.

  • Henson, Havlicek Among Those Headed Into College Hoops Hall
    Yahoo News - Feb 17, 2015
  • Illini Put On Highlight Show Herald & Review
    Google News - Sep 11, 2011
  • Illini Ad Gets Busy On Lengthy To Do List Herald & Review
    Google News - Sep 07, 2011
  • This Week In The Big Ten Big Ten Conference
    Google News - Sep 05, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Lou Henson.


1932 Birth Born on January 10, 1932.


1951 19 Years Old Born in Okay, Oklahoma, Henson graduated from Okay High School in 1951 and matriculated at Connors Junior College before transferring to New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (New Mexico A&M, now New Mexico State University).


1953 21 Years Old He lettered in basketball for the New Mexico A&M Aggies from 1953 to 1955 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1955 and master's degree in 1956.


1966 34 Years Old In 1966, he took over at his alma mater, New Mexico State University. … Read More
1970 38 Years Old In 1970, Henson would help lead the Aggies to the Final Four for the only time in the school's history. … Read More


1975 43 Years Old In 1975, Henson moved to the University of Illinois to replace Gene Bartow, after Bartow left Illinois to replace John Wooden at UCLA.


1989 57 Years Old He would lead the Fighting Illini to the 1989 Final Four. … Read More


1997 65 Years Old In 1997, Henson returned to New Mexico State as interim head coach after Neil McCarthy was abruptly fired before the start of the season. … Read More
1998 66 Years Old His 1998–99 team won the Big West regular season and tournament titles—notably, the first time in Henson's career that he had won a conference tournament.
2004 72 Years Old He retired for good midway through the 2004–05 season due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. … Read More
2005 73 Years Old † Henson resigned on January 22, 2005 and was replaced that day by interim head coach Tony Stubblefield; their collective record in the 2004–05 season was 6–24 (1–14 Sun Belt) for a sixth place finish in the Sun Belt West division.
2007 75 Years Old In July 2007, Henson announced that he was again undergoing chemotherapy for the same strain of lymphoma that he had battled four years previously. … Read More
2014 82 Years Old Henson "returned to coaching" at age 82 as coach of the New Mexico House of Representatives team in a charity contest versus the New Mexico State Senate team on February 7, 2014. … Read More
2015 83 Years Old 1 More Event
…  On February 17, 2015, Henson was selected as a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. … Read More
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