Former Mount St. Mary's basketball coach Jim Phelan dies at 92

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Mount St. Mary's men's NCAA college basketball coach Jim Phelan and his wife Dottie in 2003.
Jim Phelan, seen here with his wife Dottie in 2003, won 830 games over his 49-year career leading Mount St. Mary's. (AP/Timothy Jacobsen, File)

Longtime Mount St. Mary’s basketball coach Jim Phelan died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday night, the school announced.

He was 92.

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Phelan spent 49 years leading Mount St. Mary’s, and racked up an incredible 830 wins throughout his nearly five decades leading the program. He took the program to 14 NCAA Division II tournaments, five Final Fours and won a national title in 1962.

The program made the jump to Division I in 1988. Phelan led the program to three Northeast Conference championships and made two NCAA tournament appearances.

Phelan retired after the 2003 season.

The Philadelphia native played three seasons at La Salle himself, and averaged 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Coach Phelan is Mount St. Mary’s basketball,” said Dan Engelstad, the current coach of the Mountaineers, via The Associated Press. “I found out the news after dropping my daughters at school as I was driving to campus. I thought about how fortunate I am to coach at the place that Coach Phelan built and grateful that he built it on family. I get to share his desk and I get to coach in the gym that he changed lives in — what an honor.”

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