Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Interview With Denny Crum

Denny Crum played two seasons at UCLA from 1956-58, and was an assistant coach under Coach John Wooden from 1958-60, 68-71.

In 1971 he was hired as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. He compiled an astounding 675-295 record over a 30 year coaching career. He was named National College Coach of the Year three times, and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.

While at Louisville his teams appeared in six Final Fours and won two NCAA championships (1980 & 1986). His Cardinal teams faced UCLA three times in the Final Four, losing twice (1972 & 1975) and winning once (1980).

Below is an interview with Denny Crum about his own coaching career and time at UCLA.

Denny Crum - Out Loud
Steve Rosenbloom
Chicago Tribune
February 2006

"Coach Wooden was not only my coach, he was like a father to me. When you get to play for someone and coach under him, you get really close.

We won the national championship all three years I was an assistant there (UCLA). I'm not taking the credit for that, believe me.

I took my first team here (Louisville) to the Final Four. It was kind of funny at that stage of my career, because I thought it was supposed to be that way because at UCLA we did it every year. I think I was the first first-year coach to do that.

And we got beat by UCLA with all the guys I'd recruited -- Bill Walton, Greg Lee, Keith Wilkes.

We beat them one year for the national championship in 1980 in Market Square Arena.

Then we won it again in '86.We were in four Final Fours during the '80s.

I was actually offered that job three different times. It wasn't anything to do with UCLA. I just loved living here in Louisville. I loved the lifestyle, the opportunities you have here.

I remember when Gene Bartow took the UCLA job out there, he had a really hard time with the media.

I think I could've handled it. And coach Wooden thinks I could've handled it. And he's pretty smart.

I honestly think I could've won more championships had I gone back to UCLA."


(photo credit: UCLA Sports Dept.)


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