Lon Jourdet
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Lon Jourdet
Lon Jourdet
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born September 12, 1888[1]
Frenchtown, Pennsylvania
Died August 31, 1959 (aged 70)
Mont Alto, Pennsylvania
Playing career
1910-1912 Penn (football)
1910-1913 Penn (basketball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1914-1920 Penn
1930-1943 Penn
Head coaching record
Overall 226-143 (.612)
Accomplishments and honors
1 Helms National (1920)
1 Premo-Porretta National (1920)
7× EIBL champions (1916, 1918-1920, 1934-1935, 1937)
College football All-American (1912)

Lon Walter Jourdet (September 12, 1888 - August 31, 1959) was the head men's basketball coach for the University of Pennsylvania from 1914-1920 and then again from 1930-1943. He is credited with inventing an early version of the zone defense used in modern basketball.[2] During his coaching career, he amassed an overall record of 226 wins and 143 losses.[3] His 1919-20 team finished the season with a 21-1 record[4] and was retroactively named the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[5][6] Jourdet's win total was the highest in Penn men's basketball history until Fran Dunphy surpassed him in 2001-02, and his seven conference titles are second to Dunphy's 10.

As a student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, Jourdet played on the football and basketball teams. He lettered in basketball from 1910-11 to 1912-13, while in football he lettered from 1910 to 1912. As a senior during the 1912 season, Jourdet was named a football All-American.

The reason for his extended absence as Penn basketball's head coach between 1920 and 1930 was summed up by The Pennsylvania Gazette in its December 3, 1920 issue, which said Jourdet "on account of a business transfer to another part of the country, has been obliged to give up coaching."[7] He transferred to Kentucky and became engrained in both high school and college basketball there.[8] Jourdet even officiated some of the University of Kentucky men's basketball games.[9]

Upon returning to the Philadelphia area, Jourdet coached the Quakers for 13 more seasons and won three more Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League championships (the conference precursor to the modern Ivy League).[3] From 1949 to 1959, Jourdet worked in a state liquor store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[10] In mid-August 1959, he was admitted to the Samuel G. Dixon Tuberculosis Hospital.[10] On August 31, he jumped out of the third-story window of the hospital, suffering a broken neck. Jourdet was 70 years old at the time of his suicide.[10]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Penn Quakers (Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League) (1914-1943)
1914-15 Penn 9-10 3-7 5th
1915-16 Penn 11-7 8-2 T-1st
1916-17 Penn 11-7 5-5 3rd
1917-18 Penn 18-2 9-1 1st
1918-19 Penn 15-1 7-1 1st
1919-20 Penn 21-1 10-0 1st Helms National Champions
Premo-Porretta National Champions
1930-31 Penn 9-17 3-7 5th
1931-32 Penn 10-11 2-8 5th
1932-33 Penn 12-6 6-4 3rd
1933-34 Penn 16-3 10-2 1st
1934-35 Penn 16-4 10-2 1st
1935-36 Penn 12-9 7-5 2nd
1936-37 Penn 17-3 12-0 1st
1937-38 Penn 8-10 7-5 T-2nd
1938-39 Penn 7-11 6-6 T-4th
1939-40 Penn 5-13 2-10 7th
1940-41 Penn 5-12 3-9 7th
1941-42 Penn 9-9 5-7 T-4th
1942-43 Penn 14-7 6-6 T-3rd
Total: 226-143 (.612)

      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. ^ Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966
  2. ^ Westcott, Rich (2001). A Century of Philadelphia Sports. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press. p. 48.
  3. ^ a b "Lon Jourdet coaching record". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Quakers season-by-season results". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "NCAA Division I Men's Basketball - NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 535. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
  7. ^ "The Basketball Season", The Pennsylvania Gazette, p. 249, December 3, 1920, retrieved 2014
  8. ^ Scott, Jon. "History of the Early S.I.A.A. Atlanta Basketball Tournament (1922)". BigBlueHistory.net. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ Scott, Jon. "Lon Jourdet - Officiated Kentucky Games". BigBlueHistory.net. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Lon Jourdet Ends His Life". The Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. September 1, 1959. p. 5. Retrieved 2014.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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