SDSU Coaching Great Steve Fisher Snubbed By Naismith- Again
Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp, John Wooden and Pat Summit: coach Steve Fisher will not join their ranks in 2019- but perhaps soon.
“Fisher absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if it doesn’t happen, it goes back to where he was implicated in something he was not guilty of” – Jalen Rose
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced thirteen finalists for the class of 2019 inductees. Four of the thirteen were coaches: Bill Fitch, Eddie Sutton, Barbara Stevens and Leta Andrews.
Coach Steve Fisher was not among the named. Again.
Fisher’s college basketball coaching career has been nothing short of remarkable, and he is a living testament to triumph over adversity.
Fisher coached for 26 seasons as a Division I head coach. He began his career at Michigan and later moved on to SDSU. He won 570 games and made 15 trips to the NCAA Tournament that included three trips to the NCAA final, one national championship, one NIT title.
Fisher was also a two-time National Coach of the Year.
In light of those accomplishments, perhaps his most remarkable feat was becoming the master architect of an elite basketball program at San Diego State University, where one did not exist before.
Fisher is also one of 17 men’s college coaches to receive the John Wooden Legends of Coaching Award.
Steve Fisher retired at SDSU after the 2016-17 season and still serves as a community relations ambassador for the university.
He has been inducted into San Diego’s Breitbard Hall of Fame, and last year he was similarly honored by his alma mater of Illinois State.
That leaves the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City and the Naismith in Springfield, Mass.
“It would be a huge honor with either of them,” Fisher said last month, “but I don’t think about it very often, only when people bring it up. I’m proud of the career that we’ve had and still feel good about the fact that I’m still involved with San Diego State.”
Steve Fisher has been perpetually tied to NBA superstar Chris Webber, a member of the Fab Five that Fisher coached at Michigan. Webber is a five-time NBA All-Star and averaged 20-plus points for nine straight seasons
Webber has been a Naismith finalist before. Many believe he continues to be snubbed for failing to admit his role in the booster scandal that ultimately led to Fisher’s firing from Michigan during 1997. Many at University of Michigan agree that in retrospect, Fisher’s firing was a regrettable mistake.
Fellow Fab Five teammate Jalen Rose has publicly advocated that Fisher’s Hall candidacy has been “collateral damage” of Webber’s failure to own up.
“(Fisher) absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if it doesn’t happen, it goes back to where he was implicated in something he was not guilty of. It’s important to me to speak on his behalf because he’s one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet” Rose told ESPN in 2017.
“Coach Fisher, I know what he’s accomplished and who he is. He’s a great man with a great family, and the Hall of Fame is something he’s earned.”
“It’s something he deserves.”
The 2019 inductees will be announced in April at the Final Four in Minneapolis.