Former Waterloo East Coach, Hawkeye Great Wier Dies At 89 [Video]
Funeral arrangements are pending for Murray Wier, a long-time ex-coach and athletic director at Waterloo East High School and former standout basketball player at the University of Iowa.
According to Iowa athletic officials, Wier passed away at his home in Georgetown, Texas, Wednesday morning (April 6, 2016). He was 89.
A native of Grandview, Iowa, Wier was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 1945-48. He averaged 7.8 points per game as a freshman in 1945, helping lead Iowa to a Big Ten (then-Big Nine) championship. Wier averaged 8.4 points as a sophomore and a team-best 15.1 points as a junior.
As a senior, Wier became the first officially recognized Division I NCAA scoring leader and Iowa’s first-ever consensus first-team All-American, averaging 21 points per game. He set a then-Big Ten record of 272 points in conference play, earning first-team all-league and team Most Valuable Player accolades in 1948. Additionally, Wier is one of only three Hawkeyes to earn the Chicago Tribune’s trophy as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the Wier family,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said in a statement released by the athletic department. "Murray was one of the all-time greats, blazing the trail for Iowa basketball. Murray won a Big Ten championship, and led the NCAA in scoring, and becoming the program’s first first-team All-American. He will be missed by everyone in the Iowa basketball family.”
After a successful collegiate career, Wier was selected in the 1948 Basketball Association of America Draft by the Ft. Wayne Pistons, however began his professional career with the Moline, Ill.-based Tri-Cities Blackhawks (now the NBA's Atlanta Hawks). Wier played for Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach in his second season with the team.
After three seasons with the Blackhawks, Wier played his final year of professional basketball with the Waterloo Hawks of the National Professional Basketball League.
Following his playing career, Wier accepted a teaching and coaching job at East, where he guided the boys basketball team for 24 years. He compiled a career record of 372-149 and coached the Trojans to their first state championship, a 71-54 victory over Dubuque Wahlert in the Class-AA final. Under Wier, East also had a second-place finish in the 1960 single-class tournament.
Wier retired in 1989. In 2003, he left the Cedar Valley and moved to Georgetown, Texas, to be closer to his children.
Wier was born in Grandview on Dec. 12, 1926. He attended Grandview High School for first three years, before moving to Muscatine and Muscatine High School his senior year. He was a first-team all-state selection as a senior.
Wier is survived by his wife, Marge, and children Terry, Sandra, Marcia, Jeff, and Sally. The cause of his death was not immediately known.
The video below highlights Wier's legendary career at Iowa.
Courtesy: Terry Wier via YouTube