Charles Granby, a renowned New York City basketball coach who amassed 722 victories over 45 years at the same Queens high school, coached a number of future N.B.A. players and served as a father figure for hundreds of young men, died on March 1 in Queens. He was 81.
His death was confirmed by his daughter, Robyn Granby-Poole.
Granby, who was known as Chuck, ran his practices with a whistle and a pacifier around his neck — a reminder to his players that crybabies would not be tolerated.
Coaching at Campus Magnet High School, long known as Andrew Jackson, in the Cambria Heights section of Queens, alma mater of the Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy, Granby captured 24 division titles and 7 borough titles during his run in New York’s Public Schools Athletic League.
His teams did not lose a home game from 1972 to 1985, the year he won his only P.S.A.L. championship with a team led by Boo Harvey, who went on to star at St. John’s University.
“He was the king of Queens,” said Ron Naclerio, a longtime basketball coach at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens, who passed Granby on the P.S.A.L. list for most career victories in December.
At the height of his career in the 1980s, Granby scored what he called “a dream coaching job” at the Empire State Games in Syracuse. The Games showcased some of New York’s most talented players, and Granby’s teams featured the collegiate stars Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson, Kenny Anderson and Pearl Washington, all of whom went on to the N.B.A.
“Chuck Granby was a great, great basketball coach, but a way better person,” Mullin, now the head coach of St. John’s, said on Wednesday. “He had a passion to teach kids, not just about basketball but about life.”
Granby’s brash style, combined with a fatherly love and genuine concern for all his players, proved to be a winning formula.
Kyle O’Quinn, a power forward for the Knicks who played at Campus Magnet, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that Granby “had a great impact on my life and the lives of so many other student-athletes, including their families.”
Granby was born in Edenton, N.C., on Oct. 22, 1934. He attended Morris High School in the Bronx and New York City Community College before enlisting in the Army.
After serving two years at Fort Knox, Ky., he enrolled at Bradley University in Illinois in 1958 and played basketball there. He was a member of the Bradley team that, led by Chet Walker, won the National Invitation Tournament in 1960.
He joined Campus Magnet, then called Andrew Jackson, in 1969 as a physical education teacher and coach. He was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Granby, who was divorced, lived in Jamaica, Queens. Besides his daughter, survivors include a brother, Samuel Jr., and a sister, Catherine Holley.
O’Quinn, who called Granby a great coach “who used basketball as a vehicle to promote education,” is among the generations of players, including the once-troubled Lloyd Daniels, who heard Granby’s “ugly life” speech.
“Without a college degree, you will have an ugly life,” it went. “Your job will be ugly. Your house will be ugly. Your car will be ugly.”