Rose

Charlotte's Lee Rose at the 1977 Final Four. 

Legendary Charlotte men's basketball head coach Lee Rose passed away on Tuesday, April 5, at the age of 85.

The head coach remains one of the 49ers' best after leading the program to new heights in the 1970s. To remember the coach's legacy left at Charlotte and in the college basketball world, here are some of Rose's best moments throughout his college coaching career. 

NIT Championship Runner-Up Season 

The team found immediate success in Rose's first season as the 49ers' head coach. Under the supervision of Rose, the 49ers went 24-6 that year, and in the National Invitational Tournament, they made a run. With wins over San Francisco, Oregon and North Carolina State, Charlotte lost to Kentucky in the championship game in their first-ever championship appearance. 

The run led by Rose and star player Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell set the scene for another dominant year.

Final Four Run  

After coming out of the gates with a near championship year the year before, Rose and company made another run at a championship, but this time in the NCAA tournament. The 49ers were in the Sun Belt for the first time in school history, won the conference and entered the NCAA tournament. 

Charlotte made an all-time run which is still talked about to this day. The 49ers beat Central Michigan in the first round and then took down Michigan and Syracuse to set up a matchup with Marquette in the final four. The 49ers lost by two points as Marquette went on to win the championship. 

The Final Four run led by Coach Lee Rose made Charlotte more of a national school than a regional school, which they had the reputation of being for many years. The magical run put Rose and the school on the map. 

Another Final Run with Purdue 

After another conference championship in the 1977-78 season, Rose moved from Charlotte and started coaching at Purdue the next season. Just like in his first season with the 49ers, Rose found success in his first season with the Boilermakers. His team made the final round of the NIT but missed out on the championship. In the 1979–80 season, the Boilermakers made a run similar to the 49ers' run with Rose. Purdue made it to the Final Four but missed out on the championship.

After leaving the Boilermakers for South Florida, Rose made numerous NIT appearances and spent six seasons with the program. After leaving the college ranks, Rose coached in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets. 

Rose spent time in several different levels of basketball, but his time with the 49ers will forever be a highlight of the coach's career. A 72-18 overall record and 40-2 home record are part of a lasting legacy.

Rose was named to the 49ers' Inaugural Class for the 49ers Athletic Hall of Fame. 

 "I am deeply honored to be named to the Inaugural Class for the [49ers] Athletic Hall of Fame," Rose said when he was inducted. "The team was known as the 'Mean Green' and came from being an unknown to the national stage. The distance from the Mine Shaft on campus to the final game of the NIT in Madison Square Garden and the Final Four in Atlanta was millions of miles!" 

"In accepting this honor, I give tribute to every player, coach, trainer, manager, administrator and fan that was a part of the teams that I coached here: we all traveled those miles together. Over the course of the 50 years that I coached in college and NBA, the three years with UNC Charlotte were pure magic!" he added.

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