Henry P. Iba
Henry P. Iba
“I had never heard of basketball lectures until I played for Mr. Iba [in the Olympics], but then his lectures were as much about life as basketball.”
Henry P. “Hank” Iba was born in Missouri and graduated from Westminster College, where he was active in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He was all-conference end, all-conference center in basketball, all-conference first baseman and pitcher at the college. Iba came to Classen High School as a basketball coach in 1927. His team won the state title in 1929 and placed second at nationals in Chicago. He then coached at Maryville Teachers College (now Northwest Missouri State University) in Missouri from 1929 to 1933 and the University of Colorado from 1933 to 1934 before coming to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater to serve as basketball and baseball coach in 1934. He was named Director of Athletics later that year, discontinued coaching baseball in 1941, and continued as director and basketball coach until his retirement after the 1970 season. OSU joined the Big Eight Conference in 1957 and won the conference title in 1965. Under Iba’s leadership, OSU was the first school to win back-to-back NCAA titles in 1945 and 1946. Iba also coached the U.S. Olympic basketball teams in 1964, 1968, and 1972.
In 1993, Oklahoma State University helmets sported a small “HPI” in honor of Henry Payne Iba who had died earlier that year.
Iba came to Oklahoma City as the basketball coach at Classen High School (1927-1929).