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Don DeVoe

2024 Inductee

2024

Don DeVoe

Don DeVoe grew up in Port William in Clinton County, Ohio. He was a multi-sport athlete that averaged 31 points per game in basketball as a senior while becoming an All-Ohio Honorable Mention (1959). Following graduation, he went on to play basketball under Hall of Famer Fred Taylor at Ohio State University. During that time (1960-1964), the Buckeyes won or shared 5 consecutive Big Ten Championships. DeVoe became a starter mid-way during his junior season and later averaged 10 points per game as a senior, being selected as the teams Most Improved Player. 

In 1965, Don joined former OSU teammate and future NCAA National Coach of the Year, Bob Knight, at the United States Military Academy, West Point. While serving as Assistant Coach for 5 years, Don coached future legend Mike Krzyzewski. DeVoe returned to Ohio State in 1970 as a Graduate Assistant for the Buckeyes. The 1970-1971 team won the Big 10 Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.

He went on to serve as the head coach at Virginia Tech at age 29. In 1973 during his second season, DeVoe led the Hokies to a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title, as well as an NCAA tournament appearance in 1976. Playing an independent schedule, DeVoe's Hokies earned an 88–45 record in five seasons from 1971 to 1976. From 1976 to 1978, DeVoe led the Wyoming Cowboys basketball program.

In 1978 DeVoe replaced Ray Mears as Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, a role he held until 1989. In eleven seasons, he compiled a 204-137 record. DeVoe led the Vols to the 1982 SEC Championship as well as the 1979 SEC Tournament Championship. He led the Volunteers to their first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1981. He produced a number of Tennessee greats, including All-America performers Reggie Johnson, Howard Wood, Dale Ellis and Tony White. The team’s accomplishments during that period spurred the building of Thompson-Boling Arena, which was the largest arena of the time, seating 25,000. He is the only UT coach to have beaten the University of Kentucky 3 times in one season (‘78-‘79). In addition, he was the first men’s basketball coach at UT to ever win an NCAA Tournament game.  

Don was named interim Head Coach at the University of Florida in 1989 shortly after retiring from UT and went on to serve as Head Coach at Navy from 1992 to 2004. He led the Midshipmen to a 182–155 record, a 26–3 record against arch-rival Army, five Patriot League regular season titles, three Patriot League tournament titles, and three NCAA Tournament appearances in twelve seasons. DeVoe was named Patriot League Coach of the Year three times.

In his thirty-one seasons as a college basketball Head Coach, DeVoe led three different teams to the NCAA tournament and posted an overall win–loss record of 512–389 (.568).

In 2006, following Don’s 31-year coaching career, he was chosen by NABC Hall of Famer C.M. Newton to be on the NIT Selection Committee, where he served for 10 years. During that time, the group distinguished itself by creating an opportunity to honor all 32 regular season conference champions with an invitation to the tournament.

DeVoe has been inducted into the Clinton County Sports Hall of Fame, Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and was named a SEC "Legends of SEC Basketball” in 2010/

He resides in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife, Ana and enjoys spending time with his children & grandchildren.

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