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Tippy Dye

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Title: Tippy Dye  
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Subject: Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball, Joseph Kearney, Joe Cipriano (basketball), 1950 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Nebraska Cornhuskers men's basketball
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Tippy Dye

"William Dye" redirects here. For the United States general see: William McEntyre Dye
Tippy Dye
c. 1966, at Nebraska
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1915-04-01)April 1, 1915
Harrisonville, Ohio, U.S.
Died April 11, 2012(2012-04-11) (aged 97)
Grass Valley, California
Alma mater Ohio State University
Playing career
1935–1937 Ohio State
1935–1937 Ohio State
1937–1938 Cincinnati Bengals
Position(s) Basketball: Guard
Football: Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1941–1942 Brown
1942–1943 Ohio State (assistant)
1946–1950 Ohio State
1950–1959 Washington
1941 Brown (assistant)
1942 Ohio State (assistant)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1959–1962 Wichita State
1962–1967 Nebraska
1967–1974 Northwestern
Head coaching record
Overall 220–132

William Henry Harrison "Tippy" Dye (April 1, 1915 – April 11, 2012) was an American college athlete, coach, and athletic director. As a basketball head coach, Dye led the University of Washington to its only NCAA Final Four appearance. As an athletic director, Dye helped build the University of Nebraska football dynasty.

Playing career

Dye enrolled at Ohio State University in 1933 and became a star three-sport athlete for the Buckeyes. He earned three varsity letters as a football quarterback in 1934, 1935, and 1936. His team finished those seasons with records of 7-1, 7-1, and 5-3, respectively, and until 2006 he was the only Buckeye quarterback to win three consecutive games over the University of Michigan. Dye also played guard on the school's basketball team, lettering in 1935, 1936 and 1937. He was an All-Conference selection in the Big Ten in 1936 and 1937. In 1937 he was also the team's captain. Dye lettered in baseball in 1935 and 1936.[1]

After graduation, Dye played in the 1937 College All-Star Football Game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field (collegians upset the Packers 6-0). In that game, Dye played in a backfield that included future pro legend, Sammy Baugh. Dye then signed to play with the first incarnation of the Cincinnati Bengals, a member of the second American Football League, in 1937.[2]

Coaching career

After his one-year stint with the Bengals, Dye entered the coaching ranks. He coached first at Grandview Heights High School just outside of Columbus from 1939-41.[2] On April 3, 1941, Dye was named the coach at Brown where he also was an assistant coach for the football team under Paul Brown.[2][3] The next year, Dye returned to Ohio State to be an assistant for the football and basketball teams. The Buckeye's basketball team was coached by Harold Olsen at the time, one of the men who spearheaded the creation of an NCAA basketball tournament in 1939.[2]

During World War II, Dye served for three years in the U.S. Navy.[4] He then went on to become the basketball coach at his alma mater, Ohio State, from 1947 to 1950. In 1950, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten title and finished in the Elite Eight of the NCAA basketball tournament. Dye then moved on to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was the head coach from 1950 to 1959. Washington won three consecutive Pacific Coast titles (1951–53), and advanced to the 1953 NCAA Final Four.[5] Dye's 156-91 record (.632) with the Huskies ranks him as the fourth winningest coach in UW basketball history, behind Hall of Fame coaches Hec Edmundson (488 wins) and Marv Harshman (246 wins), as well as current coach Lorenzo Romar (219 wins (April 2012)).[6]

Athletic director

Long desiring an administrative role, Dye left Seattle in 1959 to become the athletic director at Wichita State University, at an annual salary of $13,000.[7] After three years, he moved up to the Big Eight Conference at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1962. Prior to hiring Dye, the Nebraska football program had an all-time winning percentage of less than 62%, and had a lackluster two decades; Dye hired Bob Devaney from Wyoming following the 1961 season as head coach and since their arrival in 1962 (ending 2005), the Husker football winning percentage is just over 81%, which is by far the highest winning percentage in that period in the nation.

He hired head basketball coach Joe Cipriano, the scrappy leader from his Final Four team at Washington. Cipriano coached the Huskers for 17 seasons, until his death from cancer in 1980. Dye moved on to Northwestern University in 1967 and retired in 1974 at age 59.


Dye was named after William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President. Harrison used the campaign nickname of Tippecanoe in 1840, which led in turn to Dye's nickname of "Tippy."[4]


Dye died on April 11, 2012, ten days after his 97th birthday. In recent years, he had lived in California with his daughter and her husband following his wife's death, who died in 2001 after 64 years of marriage. He was buried next to her in Pomeroy, Ohio.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Brown Bears (Independent) (1941–1942)
1941–42 Brown 11–7
Brown: 11–7 (.611)
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten) (1946–1950)
1946–47 Ohio State 7–13 5–7 T–6th
1947–48 Ohio State 10–10 5–7 T–6th
1948–49 Ohio State 14–7 6–6 T–4th
1949–50 Ohio State 22–4 11–1 1st NCAA Regional 3rd Place
Ohio State: 53–34 (.609) 27–21 (.563)
Washington Huskies (Pacific Coast) (1950–1959)
1950–51 Washington 24–6 11–5 1st NCAA Regional 3rd Place
1951–52 Washington 25–6 14–2 1st North
1952–53 Washington 28–3 15–1 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1953–54 Washington 8–18 7–9 4th North
1954–55 Washington 13–12 7–9 3rd North
1955–56 Washington 15–11 11–5 2nd
1956–57 Washington 17–9 13–3 T–2nd
1957–58 Washington 8–18 5–11 8th
1958–59 Washington 18–8 11–5 2nd
Washington: 156–91 (.632) 94–50 (.653)
Total: 220–132 (.625)

      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


  1. ^ - Former Buckeye William H. "Tippy" Dye Passes Away - 2012-04-13
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ St. Joseph (MO) Gazette - Tippy Dye assumes new job on July 1 - Associated Press - 1959-06-09 - p.9
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