locke john  
  John "Johnnie" Locke  
  • His 731 wins are more than any other high school basketball coach in Kansas history
  • Was an assistant coach for the 1979 McDonald’s High School All-Star game
  • Won 78% of his games including 14 sub-state titles and 3 state championships
Locke, John
Inducted 1999

Born: January 25, 1907 – Osborne County, KS

Died: August 11, 1990

Graduated: Covert (KS) H.S. 1926; Fort Hays State University, 1932


Johnnie Locke won 731 high school basketball games, more than any coach in Kansas history, in his 44 seasons spanning five decades from 1933-79. One of the five inaugural inductees into the Kansas Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1984, Locke was named district and national high School Coach of the Year in 1976 and served as an assistant coach for the 1979 McDonald’s High School All-Star game.

Coaching Legend

After helping his Covert High School of 1926 to the Class B State Tournament, he later returned to begin his coaching career at his alma mater from 1933-44. Locke’s Covert teams won 135 games while losing only 18. From there, Locke moved to Natoma where he won 401 games in 19 seasons, won back-to back state titles in 1958 and 1959, and put together a string of 51 straight victories. In 1963, he moved to Stockton where he turned around a program by winning 115 games against 84 losses with two trips to the state tourney during his nine seasons. Locke returned to Natoma in 1973 and picked up where he left off with 80 wins against just 14 losses, including the undefeated state championship season in 1975. That same year, he also coached the Natoma Girls team to a 25-1 record as state runner-up.  All totaled, John Locke won 731 games against only 203 losses (78.3 percent), won 14 sub-state titles and three state championships. Locke coached all five of his sons during his career.