Utah basketball legend Arnie Ferrin dies

Dec 27, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:04 pm
Former Utah All-American basketball player Arnie Ferrin holds his medal from the Basketball Hame of...
Former Utah All-American basketball player Arnie Ferrin holds his medal from the Basketball Hame of Fame Wednesday, April 1, 2009, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
(Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah sports legend Arnie Ferrin has died. He was 97.

His family confirmed his death early Tuesday morning according to University of Utah Athletics.

Ferrin was a Utah native who was a four-time All-American — the only player to hold that distinction in the history of University of Utah basketball. He also helped the team to national championships in 1944 and 1947.

He was the university’s athletics director from 1976 to 1985, winning 10 national championships and 15 conference championships during his tenure.

He is in the National College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the Utah Athletics Hall of fame. The university retired his jersey, number 22.

His son, Tres, told KSL that all who knew his father thought of him as a “fine man” and “we’re going to miss him a lot.”

Ferrin was born July 29, 1925 in Salt Lake City and is a graduate of Ogden (Utah) High School.

“Arnie Ferrin will forever be remembered not only as one of the most accomplished Utah athletes of all-time, but as a treasured member of the University of Utah family,” current Utah AD Mark Harlan said. “On a personal note, he was so kind to me and always there for helpful advice. I will miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire University of Utah family.”

Ferrin, then a freshman, led the Utes to an NCAA Championship in 1944 against Dartmouth and was the first freshman ever named to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Utah won the NIT championship in 1947 with a 49-45 win over Kentucky, then led by legend Adolph Rupp.

He played three season in the NBA, winning two championships, after he was taken by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1948 draft. He is one of two players in history to win an NCAA, NIT and NBA championship.

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Utah basketball legend Arnie Ferrin dies