COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Fred Taylor, who coached Ohio State to its lone NCAA basketball championship during a Hall of Fame career, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 77.
Taylor guided the Buckeyes to the 1960 NCAA title with a team that included John Havlicek, Jerry Lucas, Larry Siegfried and reserve Bobby Knight. Ohio State lost to Cincinnati in the championship game in 1961 and 1962 and made it back to the Final Four in 1968.
Under Taylor, the Buckeyes won a record five consecutive Big Ten Conference crowns and he remains the only coach in school history to record six 20-win seasons.
"He set the standards which every basketball coach since him has aspired to achieve," said current Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien. "The thing that impresses me the most about coach Taylor is that all his former players held him in such high regard.
"Every one of his former players speak in glowing terms about their relationship with coach Taylor, both during their playing days and well after their basketball careers."
Taylor had a 297-158 record during 18 seasons at Ohio State and still holds the mark for coaching victories. His teams captured seven Big Ten championships and posted a 32-game winning streak from March 1960-March 1961.
Taylor played basketball and baseball at Ohio State, winning All-America honors as a first baseman in 1950. He spent three years in the Washington Senators' organization before being named basketball coach at his alma mater in 1958.
Taylor was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986, joining three of his former players.