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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Iowa State To Honor Johnny Orr

Release: 08/26/2010
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AMES, Iowa - One of the most popular and successful coaches in Iowa State Athletics history will be permanently honored beginning this winter when "Johnny's" - a large sports bar-themed gathering area for donors - will open its doors at Hilton Coliseum.

"The memories from Coach Orr's era are very special to all Cyclones and we thought it was important to showcase those achievements in a public and permanent fashion," Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. "Part of the display will be a life-sized statue of Coach Orr in the Hilton Coliseum concourse as well as several trophy cases with memorabilia from his tenure."

The namesake of the new donor area, Johnny Orr, guided the Cyclone men's basketball team from 1980-81 through 1993-94. Orr is the winningest men's basketball coach in school history and took Iowa State to six NCAA Tournaments and five 20-win seasons.

"Johnny's" will be located on the coliseum's east side in the area formerly used as coaches' offices for the men's and women's basketball teams. The room will have a capacity of 500 and the flooring will be the actual game floor from historic State Gym.

"We talked to numerous individuals about how best to honor Coach Orr, and the overwhelming feedback was to do something unique that allowed both young and old Cyclone fans the opportunity to celebrate the Johnny Orr era," Pollard said.  "This is a fitting tribute and will allow Cyclone fans the opportunity to enjoy Coach Orr's legacy forever."

Orr coached a number of Cyclone legends in his 14 years on the sidelines, including current head coach Fred Hoiberg, Jeff Hornacek, Jeff Grayer and Barry Stevens. Twelve of the school's 26 victories over Top 10 teams came under Orr's direction, including a 104-96 win over No. 2 Purdue in 1987 and an 84-83 overtime thriller over second-ranked Oklahoma State in 1992.

The statue of Orr is being created at the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany. That studio also developed the Michael Jordan statue outside of the United Center in Chicago and the Barry Alvarez and Pat Richter statues on the exterior of Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

For more information about "Johnny's," click here or visit the "links" tab on the logo above.

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