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Honoring the First Coach

The Naismith Coaches Circle has been created to honor the First Coach, Dr. James Naismith and to pay tribute to the core values he taught – Teamwork, Sportsmanship, Physical Fitness, Leadership, and Integrity. These principles are the foundation by which young men and women play the game and conduct their lives – on and off the court.

The Coaches Circle Program has been created by the Basketball Hall of Fame to recognize those coaches that have impacted their communities, players, other coaches, and society in a positive manner.

Far too often, these incredible stories are left untold. The stories of the mentor-coach relationship; the story of compassion coaches have for their players; the story of a coach impacting a community. Now these stories and so many more will be made available through the Naismith Coaches Circle Program.








Current participants to the Naismith Coaches Circle program who continue to inspire on and off the court:

Steve Alford

 Dana Altman

 Geno Auriemma

Jim Boeheim

Mike Brey

 Larry Brown

 Jim Calhoun

 John Calipari

 Rick Carlisle

 Jamie Dixon

 Billy Donovan

 Mark Few

Leonard Hamilton

Paul Hewitt

 Bob Huggins


Tom Izzo

Lon Kruger 

Mike Krzyzewski

 Dan Majerle

Sean Miller

George Raveling

 Bo Ryan

Bill Self

C. Vivian Stringer

 Pat Summitt

John Thompson, Jr.

Dick Vitale

Gary Williams

 Roy Williams

 Jay Wright


Courtyard Unveiling Ceremony


The Statue of James Naismith is unveiled as part of the Coaches Circle at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Jim Naismith, grandson of Dr. James Naismith, sits on the Coaches Circle Statue, during the unveiling ceremony.


2015 BHOF Induction Ceremonies-655.jpg

Coach John Calipari, Hall of Fame Class of 2015 and Naismith Coaches Circle participant, unveils his bench dedication for the first time.

For more information or to participate in the Naismith Coaches Circle program, please contact Scott Zuffelato, the Hall of Fame’s Vice President of Philanthropy, at (413) 231-5506 or by email: