Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle (December 19, 1899 - September 22, 1992) was an American college basketball coach at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He invented the orange basketball. His career record at Butler was 560-392.
Hinkle was born in Logansport, Indiana, was graduated in 1917 from Calumet High School, Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Chicago from 1917-1921. As a player at Chicago, he lettered three times in basketball, was twice All-Big Ten, twice team captain, named to the Helms Foundation All-America team in 1920, was a member of the Big Ten Championship team in 1919-20, losing the national championship to Penn. Hinkle was retroactively named basketball All American by the Helms Foundation for the years 1919 and 1920.
He joined Butler University in 1921. At Butler, Hinkle served as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator for nearly half a century. While he coached football, basketball, and baseball, he was primarily known as a basketball coach. His teams were fearless, gaining a reputation as Big Ten killers. He created the "Hinkle System," a disciplined offensive strategy based on motion, passing, picks and screens and known for its complexity. Over 200 of his players became high school and college coaches; many employed the Hinkle System.
He began as an assistant basketball coach to Harlan Page in 1921. In 1924 the Bulldogs won the AAU tournament (long before there were NCAA or NIT tournaments). In 1926 Hinkle became the head coach, a position he would hold until reaching the mandatory retirement age in 1970. His only break from this job came during World War II, when he joined the Navy and ended up coaching the the Great Lakes Naval Training Station team to 98 victories and the 1942-43 National Armed Services Championship.
In 1929, he led the Butler Bulldogs basketball team to a 17-2 record, and was crowned national champions. Overall, his basketball teams scored 560 victories versus 392 defeats, and he scored more than 1000 victories in all sports.
Hinkle served on the NCAA Rules Committee 1937-38 and 1942-50. From 1948 to 1950 he chaired the committee. He was 1954-1955 president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and served on their board. He won NABC's top award in 1962 for contributions to the betterment of the game of basketball. He was Chairman of the National Basketball Rules Committee.
Hinkle's legend is forever remembered on the Butler campus with the Hinkle Fieldhouse, longtime site of Indiana's State High School championships and featured in the film Hoosiers. The fieldhouse, which was the largest basketball arena in the US for decades, was renamed in Tony Hinkle Memorial Fieldhouse in 1966. He coached 41 seasons of basketball at Butler, ending in 1970, and remained with Butler University until his death in 1992.