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Active leader in wins, Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis to retire


Coastal Carolina's Cliff Ellis is set to retire as basketball's oldest active head coach and the only one with more than 800 Division I wins, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Ellis has 833 Division I wins under his belt in a career that has spanned five decades. Entering this season, he was ranked No. 10 on the NCAA's all-time wins list.

After legendary Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim retired at the end of last season at age 78, Ellis became the oldest active coach in NCAA men's basketball. Ellis turned 78 on Tuesday.

Ellis started his Division I coaching career at South Alabama in 1975, notching a 171-84 record over nine seasons. He compiled a 179-129 mark in 10 seasons at Clemson and a 186-125 record in another 10 at Auburn.

In a break from coaching after Auburn, Ellis spent time as a TV analyst on college basketball broadcasts before returning to the sidelines at Coastal Carolina in 2007. He's amassed a 297-228 record with the Chanticleers, who started the season with a 3-5 mark.

Ellis' teams have made 10 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, Coastal Carolina won the Big South tournament in 2014-15 to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round to Wisconsin.

Including a coaching stop at NAIA Cumberland University in the early 1970s, Ellis has 909 career wins.

The school has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon during which Ellis' retirement is expected to be announced.

--Field Level Media

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