Pete Carell, who coached basketball at Princeton for 29 years and scared his big-name opponents with his smaller and often unskilled scholars playing an old-fashioned textbook game, died Monday. He was 92 years old.
His family announced his death in the current situation Posted on the Princeton Tigers website. She did not mention the place of his death and did not mention the cause of death.
As the men’s head coach from 1967 to 1996, Carell taught basketball to a thoughtful man at Princeton. As a member of the Ivy League, Princeton couldn’t offer athletic scholarships, and its academic demands were high, but Carril’s teams, always outnumbered and superior in confrontation, still won twice as much as they lost.
His Princeton record was 514-261, with 13 Ivy titles, 11 IAAF Championship appearances, two National Invitational Championships (his team won in 1975) and only one losing season. Fourteen of Princeton’s teams led the nation in defense. In 1997, he was elected a member of Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He emphasized that there was an intentional off-the-ball offense that had players pass the ball and set screens until the shooter opens or someone shoots to the basket in a patented tailgate game. Scores were low, and no matter how prepared opponents were, they were frustrated and often lost their poise.
“Playing Princeton is like going to the dentist,” said North Carolina coach Jim Valvano. who died in 1993 at 47. “You know on the road it can make you better, but while it’s happening it can be very painful.”
Bill Pennington, sports writer for the New York Times wrote: “The most clever basketball fan can admire and understand Pete Carell’s team at first glance. Pete Carell’s team can astonish the most devoted addict of hoops. Basketball was not a talent, but a team. It might not be the way that everyone should play, but it was the way everyone used to try to play it.”
At the annual NCAA Tournament, Carell’s teams may lose to the national powers but not before getting on their nerves and threatening disruption. In the first round alone, Princeton lost to Georgetown by 50-49 in 1989, Arkansas by 68-64 in 1990 and Villanova by 50-48 in 1991.
Karel’s final victory for college He came on March 14, 1996, in Indianapolis, in the first round of the NCAA Championship against the University of CaliforniaDefender hero. 13th seed Princeton scored, trailing by 7 points with six minutes left, what’s next? – Tailgate with 3.9 seconds left and won. the next day, The Daily Princetonianthe student newspaper, published this headline across page 1:
David 43, Goliath 41.
Carell said he had no illusions: “If we played UCLA 100 times, they would win 99 times.” (The Tigers continued their defeat, 63-41, in the second round against Mississippi State.)
Across the Princeton campus, he was a respectable figure with a raspy voice in a convertible jacket and khakis (or, when formally dressed, a tie). A colleague once described him as “a curly Lilliputian who would look as misplaced in an Armani suit as he would in a Vera Wang dress.” During the matches, he was famous for his moving training style.
Every year in his first training session, Carell gave the same speech in front of his players.
“I know about your academic load,” he said. “I know how hard it is to give up playing time here, but let’s do one thing. In my book, there’s no such thing as an Ivy League player. When you walk out of that locker room and you cross that white line, you’re a basketball player, period.”
But he also told his players:
“Princeton is a special place with some very outstanding professors. It is something special someone should study. But you are not special just because you went here.”
Pedro Jose (later known as Peter Joseph) Carel was born on July 10, 1930 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His father, an immigrant from Spain, worked for 40 years in the Bethlehem Steel Kilns and never missed a day’s work, his son said.
In high school in Bethlehem, Pete was an all-state basketball player, and in Lafayette, where he played Butch Van Breda GolfEvery little American was. Then, for 12 years, he coached high school basketball in Pennsylvania while earning his master’s degree in education from Lehigh University in 1959.
In the 1966-67 season, Lehigh coached to a record 11-12. Subsequently, Van Breda Kolff, who had been coaching Princeton, left to coach the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Princeton considered Bobby Knight and Larry Brown as successors. Instead, it took Karel.
He left college coaching after the 1995-96 season.
“I’ve been dodging bullets for 30 years,” Carrell said. “I find that I don’t see much. I used to think the kids felt my training was worth five points a game for them. Maybe it was, but I felt like they don’t feel that way now. I think I’m making less of a difference.”
The following year, he became an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA under the coach Rick AdelmanHe spends most of his time smashing game tapes. He remained with the team for most of the next decade, retiring in 2006, but three years later, at age 78, he returned to the Kings as an advisor.
“Being an assistant doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “The aches and pains in your stomach and headaches you get when you see things that are done wrong or when you lose, or all those problems you have as a head coach, I’ve had enough.”
He wrote with Dan White “A Smart Take from the Strong: Pete Carell’s Basketball Philosophy” (1997). His methods of training were even a topic academic paper Written by Francis Petty, Professor of Marketing at Fordham University, What Executives Can Learn from Pete Carrell.
No information was immediately available on survivors.
But he will be remembered, even though none of his teams received the final honors. I also ignored that.
“Winning a national championship is not something you’ll see at Princeton,” he said in his later years there. “I gave in to it years ago. What does that mean anyway? When I die, maybe two men will walk in front of my grave, and one will say to the other, ‘You poor thing.’ He did not win a national championship. And I won’t hear a word they say.”
Frank Letsky, longtime sports writer for The Times, Died in 2018. William MacDonald contributed reporting.
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