Former Kansas University men’s basketball great Howard “Rope” Engleman died Wednesday in his hometown of Salina. He was 91.
“Kansas lost one of its all-time greats in Howard Engleman,” KU basketball coach Bill Self said Thursday. “Our entire KU family should feel so good and proud of the way he represented us for many years.”
Engleman, who was a letterwinner from 1939-41, earned consensus first-team All-America honors in 1941. He was selected to the 1940 NCAA Final Four all-tournament team after leading the Jayhawks to the championship game in Kansas’ first appearance in the tournament.
The 6-foot Engleman also helped lead KU to Big Six Conference championships in 1940 and 1941.
After graduation, Engleman fought in the Navy in World War II. After returning, he replaced Phog Allen as KU coach for half of the 1946-47 season after Allen was ordered to bed rest. The Jayhawks finished 8-6 under Engleman and 16-11 overall in 1946-47.
Engleman, who was born in Arkansas City, had his No. 5 jersey retired in a ceremony in Allen Fieldhouse on March 1, 2003. His blond, curly hair earned him the nickname "Rope."
Engleman served as a lawyer in Salina after earning his law degree from the KU School of Law.