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Al McGuire

Title Head coach
College Marquette
Sport Basketball
Born September 7, 1928(1928-09-07)
Place of birth United States New York City
Died January 26, 2001 (aged 72)
Place of death United States Milwaukee, WI
Career highlights
Championships
NCAA National Championship (1977)
Regional Championships - Final Four(1974, 1977)
NIT Champions (1970)
Awards
AP, UPI, and USBWA Coach of the Year (1971)
NABC Coach of the Year (1974)
Playing career
1947-1951
1951-1953
1953-1954
St. John's
New York Knicks
Baltimore Bullets
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1955-1957
1957-1964
1964-1977
Dartmouth (asst.)
Belmont Abbey College
Marquette
Basketball Hall of Fame, 1992

Al McGuire (September 7, 1928 in New York City–January 26, 2001 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) coached the Marquette University men's basketball team from 1964 to 1977. He compiled impressive numbers throughout his coaching career, resulting in his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, and was also well known for his colorful personality.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

McGuire was born poor, the son of an Irish immigrant saloonkeeper. He played three years of basketball at St. John's Prep., Queens, New York (graduated 1947), and went on to star at St. John's University (1947–1951), where he played for four years and captained the 1951 team that posted a 26–5 mark and finished third in the NIT.

NBA career

After college, McGuire played in the NBA, first with the New York Knicks (1951–53) and then with the Baltimore Bullets (1954). While with the Knicks, he once famously pleaded with his coach for playing time, with this guarantee: "I can stop (Bob) Cousy." Inserted into the lineup, McGuire proceeded to foul Cousy on his next six trips down the court.

Coaching career

McGuire began his illustrious coaching career as an assistant at Dartmouth College (1955–1957). He then took his first head coaching job at Belmont Abbey College (1957–1964), where he recruited many high school players off the streets of New York. McGuire later became head coach at Marquette University in 1964 where he enjoyed remarkable success, including the NIT Championship in 1970 and a Final Four appearance in 1974.

Helped by assistant coaches Hank Raymonds (who would succeed him) and Rick Majerus, who would become a successful college coach in his own right, McGuire led the Warriors (now known as Golden Eagles) to the university's only NCAA basketball championship, in 1977, his final season as a head coach. McGuire's Marquette team, led by Butch Lee and Jerome Whitehead, defeated Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels for the title, just two days after Whitehead received a full court pass then subsequently made a last second shot (exactly the same style of shot made by Duke's Christian Laettner against Kentucky fifteen years later) propelling Marquette past UNC Charlotte in the national semifinals. The thrilling weekend in Atlanta's Omni Coliseum provided a happy sendoff to one of the most joyful and charismatic figures in college basketball history.

Broadcasting career

After retiring from coaching, McGuire became a popular commentator for NBC Sports and CBS Sports. McGuire's on-air arguments with then-NBC colleague Billy Packer helped to increase the popularity of college basketball across the United States. McGuire was court side for the landmark 1979 championship game between Indiana State and Michigan State, which is remembered as a game that vastly enhanced the appeal of college basketball. Reflecting on the event ten years later, McGuire said that the 1979 title game "put college basketball on its afterburner."

Death

McGuire died after a long bout with leukemia on January 26, 2001, aged 72, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Legacy

The Al McGuire Center, which includes a statue in his honor, opened on the Marquette campus in 2004.

Al McGuire's former television broadcast partner and friend, Dick Enberg, penned a one-man theatrical play entitled "McGuire". It debuted at Marquette University's Helfaer Theater in 2005, and returned there by popular demand in 2006. It was then presented at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta during the 2007 Final Four Championship; at Hofstra University in February 2008; and at the North Coast Repertory in San Diego County in April 2008. It returned to North Coast Rep by popular demand in August 2008, and then went to Central Michigan University, Dick Enberg's Alma Mater, on October 10, 2008, after which there was a benefit performance for the San Diego Chargers on November 12, 2008. The play has received rave reviews as an accurate portrayal of the eccentric coach, portrayed by Cotter Smith, and will continue to travel as long as there are cities interested in seeing it.

He is not related to the late North Carolina and South Carolina coach Frank McGuire, who was a coaching contemporary of his, though he did play for McGuire at St. Johns.

McGuire's brother Dick was also a prominent figure in basketball. They are the only pair of brothers inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.[1]

Coaching accomplishments

  • Belmont Abbey record: 109-64
  • Coached Belmont Abbey to five postseason appearances
  • Marquette record: 295-80
  • Coached team to 11 consecutive postseason bids at Marquette
  • NIT championship (1970)
  • Coached team to a 28-1 season (1971)
  • Associated Press, United Press International and United States Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year (1971)
  • NABC Coach of the Year (1974)
  • NCAA championship (1977)
  • Among a select few coaches who have won both the NIT and NCAA championships
  • Marquette captured its first ever NCAA championship with a 67-59 victory over North Carolina in McGuire's last game as coach
  • More than 92 percent of his student-athletes completed requirements to earn their degrees from Marquette
  • Twenty-six of his players were drafted into the NBA
  • Marquette University Athletic Director (1973-77)
  • Conducted clinics at two Air Force bases in Europe (1971)

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall
Marquette Warriors (Independent) (1964–1977)
1964-1965 Marquette 8-18
1965-1966 Marquette 14-12
1966-1967 Marquette 21-9 NIT Semifinals
1967-1968 Marquette 23-6 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1968-1969 Marquette 24-5 NCAA Elite Eight
1969-1970 Marquette 26-3 NIT Champions
1970-1971 Marquette 28-1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1971-1972 Marquette 25-4 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1972-1973 Marquette 25-4 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1973-1974 Marquette 26-5 NCAA Runner-up
1974-1975 Marquette 23-4 NCAA Round of 32
1975-1976 Marquette 27-2 NCAA Elite Eight
1976-1977 Marquette 25-7 NCAA Champions
Total: 295-80

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

Broadcasting experience

  • College basketball analyst, NBC Sports and CBS Sports
  • Basketball analyst, 1988 Olympic Games
  • Color commentator for CBS Sports' March Madness
  • Perhaps his most famous line as commentator came during the 1992 NCAA Tournament, when McGuire blurted out "Holy mackerel! Holy mackerel! Holy mackerel!" following a game winning buzzer-beater by Georgia Tech's James Forrest.
  • Following his broadcast of a 1996 NCAA Regional Championship, McGuire garnered fame for dancing with the players of Syracuse who were celebrating their entry into the Final Four. He would do the same the following year with the players from the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota players proclaimed they wanted to "Get down with Al!"
  • McGuire's broadcasting career was capped by a warm and poignant reunion less than a year before his death. When Dick Enberg joined CBS Sports in 2000 after a long career with NBC, McGuire was able to be reunited with Enberg and longtime CBS commentator Billy Packer. Late in the 2000 season, the trio called its final game together, nineteen years after working the 1981 national championship game for NBC.

See also

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Al McGuire (born in September 7, 1928 in New York City - died January 26, 2001 in Milwaukee) coached the Marquette University Men's Basketball team from 1964-1977. He compiled impressive numbers throughout his coaching career, resulting in his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, and was also well-known for his colorful personality.

Attributed

  • "The world is run by C-students"
  • "Winning is only important in war and surgery," he said in 1975. A year later came another classic: "They call me eccentric. They used to call me nuts. I haven't changed."
  • "I don't know why people question the academic training of an athlete. Fifty percent of the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their classes."
  • I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated.
  • When asked "How do you know a restaurant has good chili?" McGuire's answer, "If the waitress has dirty ankles, the chili is good."
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