MTSU basketball legend Ken Trickey dies at 79

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 10:48pm
Staff reports

Former Middle Tennessee State basketball player and coach Ken Trickey died on Tuesday. He was 79.

Trickey played from the Blue Raiders from 1952-55 then returned to coach his alma mater from 1965-69.

As a player, he scored 1,456 points, which ranks seventh all-time in school history. He earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors twice and was captain on the first MTSU team to reach the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City in 1955.

After coaching on the high school circuit, he landed back at MTSU and entertained fans with his fast-break style basketball.

The Rev. Oral Roberts was so impressed with Trickey’s work that after the Blue Raiders thumped Oral Roberts 115-89 during the 1968-69 season, he wooed Trickey away from Murfreesboro.

In two separate stints at Oral Roberts, Trickey compiled a 214-116 record and led the Golden Eagles to the Elite Eight in 1974. He was the school’s all-time wins leader until Scott Sutton passed him last year.

Trickey, a native of Cairo, Ill., also coached at Iowa State and Oklahoma City University.

“This is a sad day for the Blue Raider family as we learned of the passing of Ken Trickey," MTSU athletics director Chris Massaro said. “A trailblazer for men’s basketball at Middle Tennessee, Trickey signed the first African-American basketball players and attracted fans with an up-tempo style of play. Our hearts are heavy as we remember this Middle Tennessee basketball.”