Hawkeye Basketball Legend Passes Away

Aug. 31, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Former University of Iowa head basketball coach and player Sharm Scheuerman passed away Monday at the age of 76 at his home in Denver, Colo.

Scheuerman, a Rock Island, Ill., native was a member of Iowa’s legendary “Fabulous Five” team in 1956 that ultimately finished as the NCAA runners-up. Iowa won 17 straight games that year, the second-longest streak in school history. The 1955 team also reached the Final Four. A two-sport student-athlete, Scheuerman was also a three-year letterman in baseball.

“I’ve known Sharm Scheuerman for 20 years,” said Iowa Head Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery. “He’s one of the classiest individuals I’ve met in my 30 years of Division I basketball. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy, and family. He will be missed by everyone in the Iowa basketball family.”

Under basketball coach Bucky O’Connor, Scheuerman was part of the Iowa Hawkeyes’ “Fabulous Five,” an all-sophomore group of starters who finished second in the Big Ten in 1953-54, then swept the conference to win consecutive Big Ten championships in 1954-55 and 1955-56. The Hawkeyes finished second in the nation in 1956, falling in the NCAA championship game to Bill Russell and the San Francisco Dons. Scheuerman averaged 6.8 points as a sophomore and 8.2 and 10.1 points his junior and senior campaigns, respectively. The 1955 team was the first Iowa team to average over 80 points per contest.

Scheuerman’s number was retired in 1980, along with the numbers of his “Fab Five” teammates: Carl Cain, Bill Logan, Bill Seaberg, and Bill Schoof. He is one of nine Hawkeyes to have his uniform number (No. 46) retired and he was a three-year letterman.

“He’s one of the first people I spoke with after I was hired at the University of Iowa,” added McCaffery. “He was incredibly happy for me and gave me some great insight into our program’s history and what makes it special. Without question, one of the things that makes Iowa basketball so special is people like Sharm Scheuerman who have come through before and set such a great example for all of our student-athletes.”

Upon graduation in 1956, Scheuerman married Karlen Sutton and took a position as an assistant baseball coach and assistant basketball coach at Iowa. When Coach O’Connor was tragically killed in a car accident in 1958, Scheuerman was promoted. At 24, he became the youngest head basketball coach in NCAA Division I history – just a few months younger than Bobby Knight was at his own appointment. In 1960, Scheuerman placed third in NCAA National Coach of the Year voting.

“I’ve known Sharm Scheuerman for 20 years. He’s one of the classiest individuals I’ve met in my 30 years of Division I basketball. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy, and family. He will be missed by everyone in the Iowa basketball family.”
Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery

His six-year record at Iowa was 72-69 (.511). His 1961 team finished 18-6 overall and placed second in the Big Ten with a 10-4 league mark. His 72 victories rank eighth best among Iowa’s 22 head coaches. Two of Scheuerman’s student-athletes were named team MVP three times – Dave Gunther and Don Nelson. Scheuerman’s nickname in the press was “The Iceman” because of his ability to keep his cool under intense court pressure.

Scheuerman continued to coach at the University of Iowa until 1964, when he began working in the commercial real estate industry. He and Karlen had three children (Tom, Greg, and Jamey) and were divorced in 1975.

From 1966 to 1980, in addition to his commercial real estate business, Scheuerman was also a color commentator for Iowa Basketball on WHO radio. He also founded the Iowa City Young Life chapter in 1966 with three other community leaders. In 1975, Scheuerman was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. From 1980 to 1985, he was an analyst with Bob Hogue on KWWL-TV when the Hawkeyes began appearing on regular telecasts.

Scheuerman married Kathy Miller in 1981. Together, they moved to Denver, Colorado in 1985. Until 1991, Scheuerman was involved in commercial real estate in Colorado. He was then invited to join the Athletes in Action organization as the head coach and general manager of the primary basketball team. He continued in that role until 2003.

In 1995, Scheuerman was asked to serve as the assistant coach for the USA Basketball Team as it headed to the Pan American Games in Argentina.

He maintained his role as president of Basketball Club International (BCI), a nonprofit goodwill and outreach organization that supports integrity, character, and faith within professional and youth basketball communities, until spring, 2010. Sharm and Kathy Scheuerman founded the organization in 2004.

Scheuerman was born May 16, 1934 in Moline, Illinois. He attended Rock Island High School, where he lettered in basketball, baseball, and football prior to graduation in 1952. While he was an all-state quarterback as a senior, he attended the University of Iowa on a full scholarship for basketball. He continued to play baseball and lettered in each sport concurrently for three years. In 2000, he was inducted into the Quad Cities Basketball Hall of Fame.

Since 2004, when he founded Basketball Club International (BCI), Scheuerman frequently took BCI’s professional-level team, BCI Edge, overseas for national tournaments and across the U.S. for youth sports and leadership clinics. He was a strong mentor, and sometimes a kind of father figure, to many young and professional basketball players.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Tom. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his daughter Jamey, his sons Tom and Greg, and his grandchildren, Grace and Will. He is remembered by so many.

Family and friends will gather in celebration of Scheuerman’s life on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 at 3 p.m. (MT), at Greenwood Community Church, 5600 East Belleview Avenue, Greenwood Village, CO. A reception will follow at Glenmoor Country Club, 110 Glenmoor Drive, Cherry Hills Village, CO. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to support BCI’s Basketball Plus camps and clinics for kids. Donations may be made at www.bciedge.org/contribute or mailed to:

1880 Arapahoe Street, Suite 2112
Denver, CO 80202
re: Sharm’s Memorial Fund.

Horan & McConaty Funeral Services will be handling service arrangements. You may also share condolences at www.horancares.com or contact the funeral home at (303) 477-1625.