Denny Crum
Denny Crum

Hometown:
San Fernando, Ca.

Position:
Head Basketball Coach

Experience:
30 Years

Alma Mater:
UCLA '58


A host of collegiate coaches have had their measure of success. A post-season tournament appearance here, a conference championship there, maybe even a string of a couple of those in a row.

Where University of Louisville head basketball coach Denny Crum stands out from the norm is the incredible success and consistency that has followed in his path through his 30 seasons with the Cardinals. He has long been regarded as one of the game's outstanding coaches, building upon his reputation with each year's additional success stories.

He's been admirably labeled "Cool Hand Luke" by college commentator Al McGuire, a just assessment from one of the college game's all-time greats. He, like countless others, has watched Crum and his teams throughout the years and has yet to see the Louisville coach "lose his cool" in a pressure situation which might mean the difference between winning and losing.

Crum's extraordinary coaching career has earned him an honor bestowed upon a select few who have impacted the game of basketball -- induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 9, 1994. He is the only active collegiate coach in the Hall of Fame.

Since his arrival at Louisville in 1971, Crum's accomplishments have been astonishing, of legendary proportions so to speak. Very few college coaches could match his team's accomplishments against Crum and hope to come out ahead.

No coach accomplished as much as Crum in college basketball during the decade of the 1980's. Six times he has guided the Cardinals into the NCAA Final Four, including four times during the decade of the '80s. Only UCLA's John Wooden, North Carolina's Dean Smith and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski have coached more Final Four teams than Crum. He has achieved the ultimate goal of all college coaches by directing Louisville to the 1980 and the 1986 NCAA Championships, ranking him as one of only 10 coaches in NCAA history to win two or more titles.

Crum has proven successful his formula of concentrating on fundamentals early in preseason without intense conditioning, playing a rugged schedule that has been consistently ranked among the nation's toughest and developing a squad that performs its best at season's end.

He directed the Cardinals to 23 NCAA Tournament appearances. Three of his squads participated in the NIT, reaching the NIT semifinals in 1985. The Cardinals captured or shared 12 Metro Conference regular season titles and 11 post-season tournament championships under Crum's guidance.

Crum has engineered the Cardinals to 20 or more victories in an amazing 21 of 30 seasons, ranking him 11th in all-time 20-win seasons -- a mark even more impressive considering U of L annually played one of the nation's toughest schedules. His teams have won an average of over 23 games per season while losing nine games a year.

The third-fastest coach to win 600 career games, Crum's achievements will enable him to enter college basketball history as one of the game's all-time successful coaches. His .696 winning percentage ranks him among the top ten on the all-time list, a 675-295 record his 30th seasons. His NCAA Tournament mark is 42-23 and he won 32 of his last 46 games (70 percent) in the post-season event.

Crum has served on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors since 1989 and was president of the organization in 1999-2000. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.

Crum has reached many major milestones in his career, including becoming U of L's all-time winningest coach in 1991, passing 23-year Cardinal coach Bernard "Peck" Hickman.

Certainly, championships and impressive milestones are important for a coach. But Crum's legacy extends well beyond the basketball court. He has served as a generous ambassador for the university, city and state he has represented and rallied his community with an embodiment of the word class. Despite the demands of his job, he has given massive amounts of his time to the community to which he has endeared some 2,000 miles from his youthful home in California. The man simply has a difficult time with the word "no" in helping any worthwhile cause. Even with Crum's lengthy list of accomplishments in mind, many refer to Crum as "a better person than he is a basketball coach," a fitting statement about a truly special person.

A native of San Fernando, California, Crum attended Pierce Junior College and went on to play for John Wooden at UCLA. Crum earned special recognition during his playing days with the Bruins. He received the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy, an award presented annually to the outstanding first year varsity player. Crum was honored the following year with the Bruin Bench Award, presented annually for the most improved in a player.

Following his graduation in 1958 from UCLA, Crum stayed with the Bruins as the freshman coach before eventually returning to Pierce Junior College as its head coach. After four successful seasons at Pierce, Crum returned to UCLA in 1968 where he served as Wooden's top assistant coach and chief recruiter until his move to Louisville in 1971. He became Louisville's 17th head coach, succeeding John Dromo.

An avid reader and collector of Louis L'Amour westerns, Crum spends time away from the hectic world of college basketball playing golf, fishing and working with thoroughbred horses. He and his son Robert Scott live on a farm in Jeffersontown, Ky.

Personal

Born: San Fernando, Ca. ... Age: 63 ... Birthdate: March 2, 1937 ... Alma Mater: UCLA (1958 graduate); also attended L.A. Pierce Junior College ... Children: 3 -- Cynthia, Steve and Scott.

Basketball Playing Career

  • 1951-54 .... San Fernando (Ca.) High School
  • 1954-56 .... L.A. Pierce Junior College
  • 1956-58 .... UCLA
  • Played three varsity seasons at San Fernando (Ca.) High School for coach Vinnie Seekins, earning all-league honors his senior year. He got his first taste of coaching while a 10th-grader, coaching a team in the San Fernando spring/summer basketball league.
  • Played two seasons for Los Angeles (Ca.) Pierce Junior College, averaging 27 points a game as a freshman for coach Collins Jones in earning All-Southern California Junior College honors. He led Pierce to its conference championship as a sophomore and was named the league Player of the Year.
  • Played his final two years at UCLA under coach John Wooden. As a two-year regular in the UCLA backcourt, he scored 346 points in 49 games. He helped the Bruins to a 22-4 record in 1956-57 while earning the Irv Pohlmeyer Trophy as UCLA's best first-year player. He was honored with the Bruin Bench Basketball Award (most improved all-around player) in 1957-58 as a senior as UCLA posted a 16-10 mark.

Coaching Honors

  • 1973 Missouri Valley Conf. Co-Coach of Yr
  • 1974 Kentucky Sports World Coach of Year
  • 1979 Metro Conference Coach of the Year
  • 1980 Basketball Weekly Coach of the Year
  • 1980 Metro Conference Coach of the Year
  • 1983 The Sporting News Coach of the Year
  • 1983 Metro Conference Coach of the Year
  • 1986 The Sporting News Coach of the Year
  • 1986 Playboy Coach of the Year
  • 1986 Basketball Weekly Man of the Year
  • 1986 Lexington Herald-Leader Sportsman of the Year
  • 1990 Lexington Herald-Leader Sportsman of the Decade
  • 1994 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 1994 Metro Conference Coach of the Year
  • 1994 Kodak/NABC District III Coach of the Year
  • 1996 Conference USA Coach of the Year
  • Coaching Career Highlights

  • Crum was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 9, 1994. He is one of only three active collegiate coaches in the Hall of Fame.
  • Crum has coached two NCAA championship teams (Louisville 1980, 1986) and has been a part of two additional NCAA championships (as an assistant coach at UCLA in 1969, 1970, 1971).
  • Crum has coached six NCAA Final Four teams at Louisville (1972, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986), including an unmatched four appearances in the 1980's.
  • Crum directed U of L to 20 or more victories in 21 of his 30 seasons.
  • Crum coached 29 players at U of L who played in the NBA, four of whom were active last season.
  • Crum became the second-fastest coach to reach 600 career victories by reaching that mark in the 14th game of his 26th year, a victory against Georgia Tech on Jan. 11, 1997 (Jerry Tarkanian was the quickest with 600 wins in the 1st game of his 24th year).
  • Crum directed the Cardinals to 23 NCAA appearances (tied for fourth all-time), including eight of the last nine years and 20 of the past 24 seasons (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000).
  • Crum guided U of L to 12 regular season Metro Conference titles and 11 Metro Tournament Championships. The Cardinals either won or finished second in 17 of the league's 19 years of awarding champions.
  • Crum has a 42-23 record in NCAA Tournament play, ranking him fourth in all-time NCAA tournament victories. Only three coaches (John Wooden, Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski) have coached more Final Four teams than Crum's six, a feat also matched by Adoph Rupp.
  • Crum has guided the Cardinals to three National Invitation Tournament appearances, reaching the semifinals in 1985 and the quarterfinals in 1976.
  • Crum is one of just 21 coaches in NCAA history that have reached the 600 win plateau, eight of which are active. He coached his 900th career game in 1999.
  • Denny Crum's Year-by-Year Record

    Year	Home	Away	Overall	 Pct     Conference
    1971-72	11-1	15-4	26- 5	.838	12-2	.857
    1972-73	14-1	 9-6	23- 7	.766	11-3	.786
    1973-74	12-2	 9-5	21- 7	.750	11-1	.917
    1974-75	14-0	14-3	28- 3	.903	12-2	.857
    1975-76	13-4	 7-4	20- 8	.714	  -- 	 ---
    1976-77	15-1	 6-6	21- 7	.750	 6-1	.857
    1977-78	13-2	10-5	23- 7	.766	 9-3	.750
    1978-79	15-1	 9-7	24- 8	.750	 9-1	.900
    1979-80	16-0	17-3	33- 3	.917	12-0   1.000
    1980-81	14-2	 7-7	21- 9	.700	11-1	.917
    1981-82	11-2	12-8	23-10	.697	 8-4	.667
    1982-83	14-1	18-3	32- 4	.889	12-0   1.000
    1983-84	13-2	11-9	24-11	.686	11-3	.786
    1984-85	14-5	 5-13	19-18	.514	 6-8	.429
    1985-86	17-1	15-6	32- 7	.825	10-2	.833
    1986-87	12-5	 6-9	18-14	.563	 9-3	.750
    1987-88	14-2	10-9	24-11	.686	11-3	.786
    1988-89	11-4	13-5	24- 9	.727	 8-4	.667
    1989-90	12-2	15-6	27- 8	.771	12-2	.857
    1990-91	 9-6	 5-10	14-16	.467	 4-10	.286
    1991-92	11-4	 8-7	19-11	.633	 7-5	.583
    1992-93	13-3	 9-6	22- 9	.710	11-1	.917
    1993-94	14-1	14-5	28- 6	.824	10-2	.833
    1994-95	14-3	 5-11	19-14	.576	 7-5	.583
    1995-96	10-4	12-8	22-12	.647	10-4	.714
    1996-97	11-3	15-6	26- 9	.743	 9-5	.643
    1997-98	 6-8	 6-12	12-20	.375	 5-11	.313
    1998-99	11-3	 6-6	19-11	.633	11-5	.688
    1999-00	13-2	 6-10	19-12	.613	10-6	.625
    2000-01	 6-10	 6-9	12-19	.387	 8-8	.500
    Totals	373-85 284-207 675-295	.696   271-106	.719
    
      Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA University of Louisville
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