Old-school Princeton coaching maestro Pete Carril dies

Rumpled, cigar-smoking basketball coach Pete Carrill led Princeton to 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, where his team overpowered formidable opponents and rattled March Madness on old-fashioned fundamentals. died on Monday. he was 92 years old.

Princeton released a statement from Caryl’s family, saying, “He passed away peacefully this morning. A cause of death has not been released.

“Please respect our privacy at this time as we process the loss and make necessary arrangements. Details will be announced in the coming days,” the statement said.

Hall of Famer Caryl has instilled his team with a unique throwback brand of balls. Princeton’s offense, a game characterized by perseverance, intelligence, constant movement, quick passing and backdoor his cuts, often ended in layups.

It was an offense that could be played at any level of basketball. At Princeton, it was usually played by players who were often dismissed or overlooked from parts of the country’s basketball scene. there is.

The system worked admirably during Carrill’s 29 seasons as Tigers coach. His team won 13 Ivy League titles with him and without the benefit of scholarship his players he posted a record of 514 wins and 261 losses. With its deliberate approach of depleting high-octane stock from many opponents, Princeton has led the nation in scoring defensively in 14 of his last 21 seasons, including his eighth season in the run’s final that ended in 1996. led the

He led Princeton to the 1975 National Invitational Tournament Championship and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.

Basketball fans loved seeing the headache Caryl’s team caused in March. In 1989, Georgetown’s Jon Thompson was a Hall of Fame coach who was sweating in the closing stages of a game with his trademark towel draped over his shoulders.

Princeton went all out to Georgetown’s number one team, which includes Alonzo Mourning and Charles Smith. The Tigers had two shots in the final seconds sending Thompson and his team home but were denied and lost 50-49.

Carrill’s final season in 1996 was marked by the NCAA’s first-round victory over defending champions UCLA. This result is considered one of his biggest surprises in tournament history.

Peter Joseph Carrill was born on July 10, 1930 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Spanish immigrant parents. He played at his college in Lafayette under Butch Van Breda, his venerable coach in Corfu. After a stint in the Army, Carrill coached a high school in Pennsylvania in his 1950s and his ’60s before taking the job of college head coach at Lehigh. He spent the 1966-67 season there, going 11-12 and then en route to Princeton.

Caryl was more than a basketball coach. His friends and former players say he is smart, philosophical, has good judgment of character, honest and caring. He wasn’t the country club type. He was plain and his clothes were simple. His open-collared shirt, wrinkled sweater, and thinning hair were never combed. Sometimes sports jackets.

On the court, Carrill was demanding. He made his players work hard and demand perfection. It’s not uncommon for him to sit on the bench with a 20-point lead and look wrinkled and anguished after a bad pass, turnover, or missed layup. Yes, I didn’t care about the score.

If asked about it, he will recall what his father told him growing up in Bethlehem, one of the iron capitals of the country.

“If you lower your standards, they can turn around and attack you,” Caryl used to say.

Success on the court hasn’t changed Carril. He liked cigars. He enjoyed drinks, coffee and people chatting at Andy’s Tavern in Princeton until it became a sushi bar in the 1990s. Conte’s Pizza remained his one of his hangouts. He occasionally stopped by his Princeton basketball office to chat with Mitch Henderson, who became Princeton’s coach in 2011.

After leaving Princeton, Caryl ventured into unfamiliar land: the NBA. He spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. He helped Rick Adelman’s Kings win his two titles in the Pacific Division and his first spot in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

He joined the Washington Wizards staff in 2007 and returned to the Kings in 2009, where his first stint saw the Princeton offense breathe new life at the highest level in basketball.

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