Lou Watson, who was an All-American and later coach at Indiana, died Thursday in Fairfax, Va. He was 88. Watson was an All-American in 1950 and coached at IU from 1966-1971. He guided the Hoosiers to a Big Ten co-championship in 1967.
"Lou Watson was a part of so many of the historic moments of Indiana basketball and accomplished so many great things during his Hall of Fame career," IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement. "My first meeting with him came at his home in Ellettsville, and it was a great afternoon. It was a tremendous honor to have him visit our Elite Camp in 2009 with so many of the other former greats in attendance that afternoon. To see him return later that year with his family to serve as an honorary captain and to hear that ovation he received when he was introduced, I know it made his heart proud. Those were moments that I will never forget and his picture receiving the game ball with his grandsons has been displayed proudly in our locker room since that day."
Watson also earned baseball letters in 1949 and 1950. He became special assistant to the athletic director in 1971 and associate director of athletics in 1976 before retiring in 1987. He was inducted into the IU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
"Lou Watson was a true Hall of Fame Hoosier in every sense of the word," IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement. "His association to the University and the athletic program spanned over five decades first as a standout baseball and basketball player in the late 1940's and early 1950's, second as a coach for the men's basketball program from the 1950's until the early 1970's and finally as an administrator for the program until 1987. It was great to see him back in 2009 as an honorary coach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."