Morgan Wootten

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Morgan Wootten
Biographical details
Born (1931-04-21) April 21, 1931 (age 88)
Durham, North Carolina
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1956–2002DeMatha Catholic HS
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
5 high school national (1962, 1965, 1968, 1978, 1984)
22 Washington, D.C. (1961–1966, 1968, 1970–1973, 1978, 1979, 1981–1984, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002)
33 WCAC (1961–1968, 1970–1976, 1978–1985, 1987, 1988, 1990–1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2000

Morgan Bayard Wootten (born April 21, 1931) is an American former high school basketball coach. From 1956 to 2002, he coached at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. He has the second most wins as a head coach in the history of basketball on any level, behind Robert Hughes.[1] A number of his players went on to play in the NBA, including Adrian Dantley and Danny Ferry. Wootten gained legendary status in 1965, when his DeMatha team beat Lew Alcindor's Power Memorial Academy and ended their 71-game winning streak. His career coaching record stands at 1,274-192. As the head coach of DeMatha basketball, Wootten won 5 High School National Championships, 22 Washington, D.C. Championships, and 33 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships.

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden (1910–2010) described his admiration for Wootten when he said, "I know of no finer coach at any level – high school, college or pro. I stand in awe of him."[2] On October 13, 2000, Coach Wootten was inducted into the Hall of Fame[3], one of three high school basketball coaches ever so honored. His overall record at the time was 1,210 wins and 183 losses.[4]

Wootten attended Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. before leaving the area. He later returned to attend Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring before moving on to University of Maryland. During his coaching career at DeMatha, located just two miles away from his alma mater, he received job offers from North Carolina State,[5] Georgetown and American and interest from Duke, Wake Forest, and Virginia. Wootten turned down the offers, according to Sports Illustrated, because the Maryland job, which was not forthcoming, was the only college job he wanted.[6]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Dematha Stags (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) (1956–2002)
1956-57 DeMatha 22-10
1957-58 DeMatha 17-11
1958-59 DeMatha 23–10
1959-60 DeMatha 23-10
1960-61 DeMatha 27-1 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1961-1962 DeMatha 29-3 1st High School National Champions
1962-63 DeMatha 36-4 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1963-64 DeMatha 27-2 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1964-65 DeMatha 28-1 1st High School National Champions
1965-66 DeMatha 28-1 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1966-67 DeMatha 26-5 1st
1967-68 DeMatha 27-1 1st High School National Champions
1968-69 DeMatha 27-3
1969-70 DeMatha 28-3 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1970-71 DeMatha 29-2 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1971-72 DeMatha 30-1 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1972-73 DeMatha 30-1 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1973-74 DeMatha 27-5 1st
1974-75 DeMatha 26-5 1st
1975-76 DeMatha 28-5 1st
1976-77 DeMatha 29-4
1977-78 DeMatha 28-0 1st High School National Champions
1978-79 DeMatha 28-3 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1979-80 DeMatha 27-4 1st
1980-81 DeMatha 28-2 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1981-82 DeMatha 28-3 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1982-83 DeMatha 27-4 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1983-84 DeMatha 29-2 1st High School National Champions
1984-85 DeMatha 31-3 1st
1985-86 DeMatha 26-7
1986-87 DeMatha 28-6 1st
1987-88 DeMatha 30-3 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1988-89 DeMatha 27-5
1989-90 DeMatha 26-8 1st
1990-91 DeMatha 30-0 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1991-92 DeMatha 31-2 1st
1992-93 DeMatha 20-10
1993-94 DeMatha 28-4 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1994-95 DeMatha 26-7
1995-96 DeMatha 31-5 1st
1996-97 DeMatha 27-7
1997-98 DeMatha 34-1 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
1998-99 DeMatha 28-4
1999-00 DeMatha 28-5
2000-01 DeMatha 29-6 1st
2001-02 DeMatha 32-3 1st Ranked 1st in D.C. Area
Total: 1274-192(.869)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal life[edit]

Wootten resides in University Park, Maryland with his wife, Kathy, who he has been married to since 1964. He has five children, Cathy, Carol, Tricia, Brendan, and Joe, and 14 grandchildren.

In 1996, Wootten nearly died because of a malfunctioning liver and was quickly rushed to the hospital for a liver transplant. Several years later, aged 75, one of his kidneys failed, and he received a transplant; the donor was his son, Joe Wootten.[citation needed]

Wootten has written five books (including A Coach for All Seasons, Coaching Basketball Successfully, and From Orphans to Champions). His youngest son, Joe Wootten, follows his lead and is a successful basketball coach at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. They both lead one of the largest camps in the US, Coach Wootten's Basketball Camp, held in Frostburg, Maryland at Frostburg State University and at Bishop O'Connell High School.[citation needed]


  1. ^ NFHS Record Book
  2. ^ Banks, Don (April 3, 1987). "Teacher FIrst, Seldom Second, Wootten Has Built Monument to Excellence at Maryland's DeMatha High". St. Petersburg Times.
  3. ^ Morgan Wootten profile at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
  4. ^ Maxwell, John (2003). Equipping 101. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. p. 15. ISBN 9780785263524.
  5. ^ 30 for 30: Survive and Advance, Jonathon Hock, ESPN 2013, television.
  6. ^ The Wizard Of Washington; Morgan Wootten's name is similar to John Wooden's, and so is his record as a basketball coach. In his 23 seasons at DeMatha High School he has triumphed 88% of the time, Sports Illustrated, January 29, 1977.