DeMatha's Wootten in critical condition Legendary coach passed out at camp

July 09, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

DeMatha's Morgan Wootten, the state's winningest high school basketball coach, was listed in critical condition last night at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

It was unclear what he was being treated for.

Wootten passed out Sunday at his basketball camp at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, according to a report on WUSA Channel 9 in Washington. He was taken to Gettysburg Hospital before being transferred to Johns Hopkins yesterday.

Chris McKee, a Johns Hopkins spokeswoman, would only give Wootten's condition, saying his family had requested the hospital not give out any other information.

A message seeking more information left at Wootten's home last night was not returned.

Wootten, 64, has compiled a 1,094-163 record in 40 seasons at DeMatha. In 1993, he became the fifth high school coach in the country to win 1,000 games.

He has sent 12 players to the NBA, including former NBA All-Star Adrian Dantley, Danny Ferry, Adrian Branch, Kenny Carr, Sidney Lowe and Jerrod Mustaf, and had about 200 who played in Division I college programs.

During one 30-year stretch, every senior player on Wootten's teams received a college scholarship. There also are approximately 20 former DeMatha players and assistants coaching at the college level.

One of Wootten's biggest victories came in January 1965, when DeMatha handed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, his only loss at the high school level. The Stags beat New York's Power Memorial, 46-43, before 12,500 at Cole Field House.

Wootten has rejected several offers over the years to leave DeMatha for Division I coaching positions, including Maryland.

"I've had an opportunity to coach a lot of wonderful young men, and I've had wonderful young coaches work with me," he told The Sun in 1993. "I've got an administration that backs us. . . . Why leave?"

Pub Date: 7/09/96

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