The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Mr. Henry Payne Iba
Former OSU Basketball Coach and Athletic Director

Henry Payne Iba

Mr. Henry Payne Iba

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY is pleased to honor Mr. Henry Payne Iba, whose honor and integrity are as legend as his record as a basketball coach. Among the greatest testimonies of his own personal character are those for the legion of individuals whom he has coached. While many are now of mature years themselves, they continue to address him with the most profound respect as Mister Iba.

The esteem with which he is regarded is shown by Mr. Iba's induction not only into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Fame of his native Missouri, which he left four decades ago. the prestige and respect he has held for almost half a century in the coaching profession are self-evident. He was twice selected National Coach of the Year and was elected president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Also-without precedent-he was selected three consecutive times to coach the USA Olympic team.

In his selected career of coaching basketball, Mr. Iba is renowned nationally and internationally as a builder of men as well as winning teams. He has had a strong impact upon numerous individuals throughout his long coaching career, which in turn has multiplied the benefit felt by the general citizenry from his dedicated service. In all his endeavors he has won the admiration of those who know him throughout Oklahoma, the USA and abroad.

While he is more prominently known as a coach, his accomplishments as Athletic Director are no less outstanding. Of the existing 35 NCAA championships by OSU teams, 25 were won during the years that Mr. Iba was Athletic Director, a tenure which began only a few months after he joined the University staff in 1934.

Henry Iba was one of the originators of the nation's oldest holiday basketball tournament, the All-College Basketball Tournament, and in 1967 he became the first inductee into the All-College Basketball Tournament's Hall of Fame. In 1976 he was the recipient of the prestigious John W. Burn Award, given by the Basketball Hall of Fame Trustees for outstanding contributions to basketball and athletics in the United States.

Year of Award: 1982