A native of South Philadelphia Harry Litwack is an institution in American college basketball. He was the head basketball coach at Temple University for 21 years, from 1952-1973, where he coached the Owls to 14 consecutive winning seasons.
He is credited with the creation of the “zone defense”, which changed the game of basketball and made it necessary to develop new methods of coaching and playing.
He led the Owls to 12 post season appearances including a third place finish in the 1956 and 1958 NCAA tournament and the 1969 National Invitational Tournament Championship. With an overall record of 373-193, he is the winningest coach in Temple University basketball history.
At the time of his retirement he ranked fifth among America’s active college basketball coaches. He was an outstanding player in his own right at Temple from 1927-1929 as well as a star player and coach of the Philadelphia Sphas.
He coached the U.S. Maccabiah basketball team in the 1957 Maccabiah games, is a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.