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Passing of a Legend

Ed Messbarger, head coach of the ASU Rams basketball team from 1978-98, passed away June 30 at the age of 81.

During his college coaching career that spanned 41 years, Messbarger won 630 games. He will be remembered for many things, but most importantly, he was cherished by the many young men that he coached during his hall of fame career.

His toughness, dedication, compassion and loyalty were traits that were on daily display during his life and coaching career, and those characteristics were instilled in his players both on and off the court.

Messbarger’s ASU teams won 267 games and three Lone Star Conference titles, and he was twice named the LSC Coach of the Year. He was enshrined in the LSC Hall of Honor in 2006 and the Angelo State Athletics Hall of Honor in 2011. He is also a member of the St. Mary’s University and Northwest Missouri State University halls of honor and the NAIA National Hall of Fame.

Some of Messbarger’s career highlights include winning 279 games at St. Mary’s before coming to ASU. Messbarger put St. Mary’s on the small college national map during his tenure, making four national tournament appearances, advancing to the national quarterfinals three times, twice getting to the semifinals, and never losing a first- or second-round game. He then became the first four-year coach in Texas to win 600 games while he was at ASU.

As successful as he was on the court, Messbarger’s proudest achievement was his family. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jane, their two daughters, Tisha and Monica, and their son, Eddie, along with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  • Brandon Ireton

    Brandon Ireton

    Brandon Ireton is assistant athletic director of media relations at Angelo State University.
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