Frank Layden Inducted in 1998
Frank Layden, less than a handful of coaches voted into the N.C. Basketball "Hall of Fame" have conquered all three levels of hoop, high school, college, and pro. Nor satisfied with the "hat trick" the ubiquitous Layden is going for four, the Utah Starzz of the WNBA (Women's National Basketball). In typical Layden fashion, he pumped life and laughs into that franchise down the 1998 stretch. Frank began his official coaching career as an assistant to Frank Morris at St. Agnes H.S., in Rockville Center, Long Island. His first head coaching job was at Seton Hall (Patchogue, LI) where he became a fixture winning numerous tourney's and league titles. He became a coach and Athletic Director at Dowling College in Oakdale, NY before assuming the head coaching reigns at his alma mater, Niagara Univ, in 1968. In eight seasons Layden carved out a 119.97 record including an NCAA berth and a pair of NIT post-season appearances. He also helped harness the raw talent of the incomparable Calvin Murphy. Frank first became involved with NBA basketball as an assistant under his former Niagara roommate and teammate Hubie Brown with the Atlanta Hawks in the late 1970s. Following his sophomore season with the Purple Eagles coach "Taps" Gallagher spotted Layden's coaching potential and recruited him to become his unofficial aide. Gallagher had put together one of the best squads in the country: Larry Costello, Bo Arias, Charlie Hoxie, Ed Fleming, and former PSAL. executive director, Tommy Hemens. After his Hawk stint, Layden was named General Manager of the New Orleans Jazz on May 9, 1979, one month after team owners announced plans to move the franchise to Salt Lake City. He added the role of Head Coach to his G.M. duties on December 10, 1981, and proceeded to post a 277-294 won-lost record over six-plus seasons, the second-best coaching mark in Utah Jazz history. During his tenure, his teams finished 500 or better five consecutive times and earned a playoff berth five straight years. In 1983-84 the Jazz copped the Midwest Division title and Laden was named NBA "Coach of the Year". He also coached the Western Conf. All-Stars in 1984. Frank retired from coaching (maybe) on December 9, 1988, with an NBA "Executive of the Year" and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award on his resume. Frank's son Scott, is a former NBA Jazz G.M.