Paul Webb, who guided Old Dominion on a 22-game winning streak in its first season in Division I in 1976-77 and led the Monarchs to nine postseason tournament appearances in 10 seasons, has died. He was 94.
The university based in Norfolk, Virginia, said Webb died Friday at his home in Virginia Beach surrounded by his four children. He was predeceased by his wife, Charlotte, who died on the same date two years earlier.
Eddie Webb, his oldest son, said his father had been in declining health in recent months.
Webb came to Old Dominion in 1975 after coaching 19 years at Randolph-Macon, where Eddie played for him. Eddie later came to ODU as an assistant coach. Paul Webb replaced Sonny Allen, who left for SMU after leading the Monarchs to the Division II national title. Webb took the team back to the Division II Final Four the following year,
In 1976-77, Old Dominion moved to Division 1 and posted a 25-4 mark that included wins over Mississippi State, Georgetown and Virginia. The Monarchs lost to Syracuse in the ECAC championship game and missed the 32-team NCAA tournament.
In his 10 seasons, Webb took ODU to the NCAA tournament four times and the NIT five times. His teams upset No. 1 DePaul, No. 3 Syracuse and Clemson in the NIT during his tenure.
Webb retired in 1985 with 511 career victories, then the fifth-most in college basketball. He won 196 games with the Monarchs. "It's hard to think about ODU basketball without thinking of Paul Webb," said Dr. Wood Selig, ODU's director of athletics. Webb was born in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1929 and graduated from Petersburg High School and the College of William and Mary. He coached basketball at Highland Springs High School, just east of Richmond.
"I've known Coach for 42 years and never saw him lose his temper or utter a curse word," said Kenny Gattison, who played for Webb at Old Dominion in the early 1980s before a successful NBA career. "He wasn't just a coach. He was the best human being I've ever known."
Eddie Webb said funeral arrangements are pending.