The Athletic Program 335
letics in charge of public relations, and McKinney was designated
head basketball coach. An active coach for twenty-four years, Grea-
son had a record of 285 wins and 239 losses, which was considered
remarkable for a small-school coach who had to send his men against
some of the nation's mightiest colleges and universities.
To the end of his days, Murray Greason remained one of the most
admired and respected sports figures in the South. His life ended
tragically on January I, 1960, when he was killed in an automobile
accident. Frank Spencer, sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal,
wrote of him afterward: "Murray Greason was different from many
coaches. He never leaped to his feet, beat the floor or waved his
arms―he just sat there burning up inside with a keen basketball mind
on fire as he directed his teams…. There he sat, never a smile or a
frown crossing his face, his chin down, his legs outstretched and his
hands pushed deep in his pants pockets."
If Greason was seemingly stolid, his successor was wholly the
opposite. "Bones" McKinney, who had been a controversial player
during his college days at North Carolina, tended to express himself
passionately and flamboyantly, but despite his histrionics, he was a
brilliant coach and famous for game strategy. Sometimes he became
too involved in the floor action, once throwing his shoe at a player,
another time dashing out on the court to retrieve an errant ball. He
invented and used a seat belt to restrain himself and, thus, avoid the
imposition of technical fouls―which he was sometimes known to
draw. An ordained Baptist minister as well as a coach, he was a
popular speaker on the after-dinner circuit.
For his work with the 1959 team, which went to the finals of the
ACC tournament before losing to Duke 63-59, McKinney was chosen
Conference Coach of the Year. His team had a record of twenty-one
wins and seven losses. McKinney's star, Len Chappell, won
tournament and All-ACC honors. A year later Wake Forest beat
Maryland 98-76 in the tournament semifinals and then trounced Duke
96-81 to win the championship and qualify for the NCAA playoffs. In
Madison Square Garden the Deacons beat St. Johns 97-74 and,
traveling to Charlotte, whipped third-ranked Bonaventure 78-73. In
the finals of the Eastern Regionals Wake Forest lost to St. Joseph's
96-86. McKinney was ACC Coach of the Year for the second straight
year, and Chappell was ACC Player of the Year.
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