Known to many in the coaching profession as the "Wizard of Oz" for his remarkable ability to get the most out of a team, Charles Orsborn was the most successful coach in Bradley University's distinguished basketball history and one of the most productive coaches ever to coach the game.
In an incredible nine-year period from 1956 to 1965, Ozzie won 194 games while losing 56 for a .776 mark. Thus in an era when a 20 win season was a mark of tremendous success, he averaged almost 22 wins a year and each year his team was ranked among the national leaders. During that period his teams won three National Invitational Tournament titles at a time when that tournament had maximum prestige and five times his team was ranked among the nation's top ten teams at the end of the season.
His credentials as a former Bradley player and its athletic director are equally impressive. It was Orsborn and his Famous Five teammates in the late 1930s who originally put Bradley basketball on the national map. And it was under Orsborns term as athletic director in the 1960s that Bradley expanded its total men's and women's programs to the point that it has one of the most comprehensive athletic programs among private universities nationwide.
It was also Orsborn who developed a number of All Americans in his coaching career, many of whom went on to star in professional basketball. Such stars as Chester Walker, Lavern Tart, Shellie McMiIlon, Barney Cable and Bobby Joe Mason were developed by Orsborn.