February 5, 1890: Cam Henderson Born in Marion County

Feb 5, 2019

In 1947, Henderson guided Marshall’s basketball team to a national NAIB title.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Coach Cam Henderson was born in Marion County on February 5, 1890. He grew up in Harrison County before attending Glenville State College, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. In 1923, he started a successful 12-year run as head football and basketball coach at Davis and Elkins College. Then, in 1935, he moved on to Marshall College.

In 1947, Henderson guided Marshall’s basketball team to a national NAIB title. He played the tournament with only eight players due to budget restrictions on travel. Later that year, his football team went 9 and 2 and played in the New Year’s Day Tangerine Bowl. Henderson actually missed the bowl game because he was coaching the Thundering Herd basketball team in a tournament in Los Angeles.

He resigned as football coach after the 1949 season and stepped down as basketball coach in 1955. He died the next year at age 66. Henderson is still Marshall’s all-time winningest basketball coach. And the university’s basketball arena is named in his honor. Today, he’s often credited with pioneering the fast break and 2-3 zone defense in basketball and the double-wing offense in football.