Raveling Turns 74


Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

A Happy Birthday message is in order for former USC coach George Raveling, who turns 74 years young today.

During his eight years (1987-1994) at the helm of the men's basketball program, Raveling (photo by the LA Times) led the Trojans to back-to-back appearances in both the NCAA (1991 and 1992) and NIT (1993 and 1994) Tournaments. 

In addition to serving as USC's 11th coach in school history, Raveling also coached at his alma mater Villanova (assistant), Maryland (assistant), Washington State (HC) and Iowa (HC).

Off the court, he is remembered for not only witnessing one of the most historic moments in American history but owning a piece of it as well. After working as a bodyguard for Martin Luther King Jr. during his famous "I Have a Dream Speech" on August 23, 1968, Raveling somehow managed to convince the civil rights leader to give him the original copy of the speech- a possession he still holds to this day. 

On the bench, Raveling made history himself during his stops at Maryland (ACC) and Washington State (Pac-10), becoming the first African American coach in both respective conferences.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics In Los Angeles, Raveling added a gold medal to his successful coaching resume. The native of Washington, DC was Bob Knight's lead assistant on a team that included Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin.

While his coaching days are long behind him, the 74-year-old still manages to stay close to the game of basketball. Currently, Raveling is the Director of International Basketball for Nike.


Coach Raveling is a class act and a great Trojan. I remember always seeing him with a stack of books and newspapers when he travelled with the team to away games. He was a great coach, but also a great example to student-athletes of the importance of developing one's mind.

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