Former Belmont Abbey basketball coach dies at 83

Louis O’Gorman

By Richard Walker
Former Belmont Abbey College student and basketball coach Louis James “Louie” O’Gorman died last Saturday in Blackville, S.C.

He was 83.

O’Gorman guided the Crusaders to a 36-64 record from the 1967-68 to 1970-71 seasons and is best remembered for his popular Louie O’Gorman Basketball Camps held throughout the Carolinas and in Clonmel, Ireland that began in 1964 and lasted until 2010.

Later was a teacher, coach and administrator at Denmark-Olar, Andrew Jackson Academy, Jefferson David Academy, Wade Hampton Academy, Irmo and Heathwood Episcopal high schools and St. Leo, Fla., College, O’Gorman retired in 2003.

A 1955 graduate of Blackville, S.C., High School, O’Gorman earned his undergraduate degree from Belmont Abbey in 1959 and later earned a Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina in 1972.

O’Gorman is survived by his wife of 54 years, Gail Hiers O’Gorman; a daughter, Maureen O’Gorman (Matthew) Petkewich of Columbia, S.C.; his sons, Kevin Louis (Elizabeth) O’Gorman of Edgefield, S.C., and Farrell Wendell (Natasha) O’Gorman of Belmont; and seven grandchildren. Farrell O’Gorman is a professor and department chairman of English at Belmont Abbey.

A graveside funeral service was held for O’Gorman on Monday at the Blackville Cemetery.

O’Gorman coached two 1,000-point scorers at the Abbey in Frank Zinke (1,345 points from 1965 to 1969) and Jim McDede (1,323 points from 1969 to 1973).

He also coached the Crusaders when they played their highest-ranked team in history on Feb. 3, 1970.

The Abbey lost 131-64 at No. 4-ranked St. Bonaventure in Olean, N.Y. The Bonnies’ were led by Bob Lanier, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1970 NBA draft, and finished with a 25-3 overall record after advancing the to 1970 Final Four.