During his career as the college basketball coach at Hamline University in St. Paul, Joe Hutton Sr. took the MIAC school to national prominence.
In his 35 seasons as the Hamline coach, he led the Pipers to a 591-207 record, 19 conference championships and three national championships (in 1942, 1949 and 1951). At the time of his retirement in 1965, he was the sixth winningest coach in college basketball.
Several of Hutton's players went on to play professional basketball. In 1951, three former Pipers — Vern Mikkelsen, Howie Schultz and his son Joe Hutton Jr. — were members of the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA.
"Once we started winning, kids wanted to come to Hamline," Hutton Sr. told the Minneapolis Tribune in 1979. "And we never played soft non-conference schedules. We played all over the country, from Madison Square Garden (in New York City) to Los Angeles. It only takes five guys to win, and I had the five."
Hutton Sr. added that "practically everyone who played for me came from Minnesota."
Hutton Sr. was an athlete at Excelsior High School before attending Carleton, where he was a standout basketball player. He coached high school basketball at Northfield, Hopkins and Sioux Falls, S.D., before becoming the coach at Hamline. During his 35 years at Hamline, he also served as the school's athletic director.
Hutton was the first basketball coach to be inducted into the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. In 1971, he was named the NAIA Basketball Tournament's all-time coach.
JOE HUTTON SR.