Pete Carril

Pete Carril, who spent 30 years as the head coach of the Princeton Tigers men’s basketball team and made the “Princeton Offense” famous, has died at the age of 92.

“The Carril Family is sad to report that Coach Peter J. Carril passed away peacefully this morning,” the Carril family said in a statement released by Princeton University. “We kindly ask that you please respect our privacy at this time as we process our loss and handle necessary arrangements. More information will be forthcoming in the following days.”

What Carril lacked in player talent, he made up for by installing a deliberate, slow-moving offense that showcased backdoor cuts and proficient passing. His coaching prowess led the Tigers to 13 Ivy League titles, an NIT championship in 1975, and 11 NCAA Tournament berths where they were routinely considered a dangerous opponent for any high seed.

In 1989, Carril’s 16-seeded Tigers nearly shocked No. 1 Georgetown and the college basketball world in a 50-49 Hoyas victory. In 1990, the No. 13 seed Princeton almost upset No. 4 Arkansas in the first round, losing 68-64. Pete’s squad finally got it’s Cinderalla victory in 1996 when the 13-seeded Tigers topped defending national champion UCLA, then a 4-seed, 43-41.

Carril finished his college basketball coaching career with a 525-273 record, which included 514 victories at Princeton. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Let me just say that no one ever starts out wanting to be a Hall of Fame coach or a Hall of Fame doctor or a Hall of Fame anything,” Carril said in his Naismith induction speech. “No one ever starts out that way. There are a lot of forces at work, and you don’t know where you’re going to end up, and you don’t know why it happens.

Carril served as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings three different times before finally retiring in 2011.

The basketball world was quick to offer its condolences and kind thoughts to Carril and his family on the news of his passing.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to