Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Giant: Carril Is Leaving a Legacy of Fear among Rivals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Giant: Carril Is Leaving a Legacy of Fear among Rivals

Article excerpt

Pete Carril, the shrill, Yoda-like minister of defense, is the only man Georgetown coach John Thompson would have splurged on a Princeton tuition for his son to play for.

He is the only man Temple coach John Chaney declared he never would schedule. And he almost certainly is the only man to have once challenged a divinity student thusly:

"How can there be a God," he screeched at former player Chris Thomforde, "when people play basketball this way?"

Carril, whose 13th-seeded Tigers tonight take on defending national champion UCLA, the No. 4 seed, in the NCAA Tournament East Regional, is what the New York Daily News calls "an American Classic." But no one describes him better than the Orange County Register.

"He is a cigar-smoking, 5-foot-5 statement against fashion - his motto should be `Let's get ready to rumple' - but he is a barbed-wire hurdle in an NCAA Tournament, especially this one, because on Saturday he said it would be his last."

His retirement announcement, like his 29 Princeton teams, was elegantly simple. Because he didn't want to endure the pomp of a farewell tour, he muzzled his months-decided announcement until Princeton's Ivy League championship overtime victory over Penn. In the euphoria of what he called the happiest day of his life, he informed his players by scrawling the words, "I'm retiring" on a locker room blackboard after the game.

"At first I thought I would wait until after the NCAAs, but this is as good a time as any," said Carril, 65. "I just don't think I have it as a coach anymore."

As a coach, he has won 524 games and coached the Tigers to 13 Ivy League titles. His team won the 1976 National Invitation Tournament, but Carril, who sought only the elusive perfect game, typically wasn't impressed. "Big deal," he said then. "Pretty soon we're going to be dead and the worms will be crawling around the coffin."

But his legacy, of course, will be his fiendish defenses, the best in the nation the past eight seasons, and his mesmerizing NCAA Tournament bouts against far superior talent. …

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