When Bob Knight inevitably overtakes Dean Smith for the most career coaching wins in Division I, the milestone will be met with the same polarization and "yes, but" ambivalence that has shrouded Barry Bonds's pursuit of Hank Aaron. In Magee's case the new record will be met with unqualified applause. When he won his 800th game last season, a raft of former players, teammates and other coaches from Philadelphia's Big Five programs was in the bleachers. "He's one of those coaches who's so much more than a coach," says Tayron Thomas, the best player on last year's 20--11 team, who's now in the NBDL.
Win No. 817 came with more difficulty than the coach would've preferred. The Rams needed overtime to slip past Holy Family University at a recent home game. As the players changed out of their uniforms in a classroom off to the side of the court, the coach slapped five with them and bellowed, "Now that's a good win!" With no postgame coaches' show, no media beast in need of feeding, no boosters to schmooze, Magee left the gym soon afterward. "Going home," he announced. He hadn't seen his wife all day.
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