Birthdate: April 24, 1938
Birthplace: Bartlessville, Oklahoma
High School: Butte County, 1956 (Amco, Idaho)
Colleges: Idaho State University
Year Inducted: 2023
A disciple of Bob Knight who built his basketball empire around stingy man-to-man defense, Gale Daugherty would coach for 20 years at Ohio Northern University and compile a stellar record of 310-218, making him that school’s all-time winningest coach.
A native of Bartlesville, Okla., just north of Tulsa, Daugherty earned his bachelor’s degree at Idaho State and actually began his coaching career as an assistant for the football and basketball teams at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas. His journey eventually led him to West Point as he became at athletic trainer at the U.S. Military Academy and even coached Mike Krzyzewski as a plebe. He coached high school basketball in the area and also learned under Knight and Tates Locke at Army.
He then headed to Denver to begin the basketball program at Metropolitan State and moved on to the Naval Academy in 1968, serving as a varsity assistant and guiding the plebe team to a 46-8 record in the three seasons. That eye-opening success landed him the job at ONU in 1972. His arrival in time for the 1972-73 season lasted until the 1991-92 campaign and it was clear Daugherty had the coaching chops to win with regularity.
His ONU teams won the OAC title in 1982 and ’88, and also grabbed the league tournament championship in 1980. He was named OAC Coach of the Year three times and pointed the program to four Division III NCAA Tournament appearances. In his time at the helm, ONU ranked in the top 10 nationally in team defense 13 times and thrice led all of D-III in that category.
Daugherty also was a highly successful men’s cross country coach at ONU and served as an associate professor in physical education and sport studies. In 1993, he stepped down from coaching to assume the duties of athletic Director, holding that spot until his retirement in 1999.
Gene Daugherty and his late wife, Beverly, have four children. He enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at age 84.