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.”
A Statement From The Family Of Pete Carril.
— Princeton Tigers (@PUTIGERS) August 15, 2022
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.
Pete Carril could coach the hell out of a back door cut. Would make watching teams score 40-50 points fun.
Almost pulled off the first 16-1 upset in 1989. Beat UCLA in the tournament in 1996 by a crisp score of 43-41. Bruins were defending champions.pic.twitter.com/wg44i4aHsS
— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) August 15, 2022
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.
On the short list of greatest coaches, and characters, the college game has ever known. https://t.co/6VB7O2xssX
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) August 15, 2022
Pete Carril won 514 games at the D-I level, made 11 NCAATs and won an NIT without a single player on scholarship. And one of the few coaches with a legitimate patent on a style of play that was emulated at all levels.
He holds a special legacy in hoops that won't be duplicated.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) August 15, 2022
RIP to a man who changed basketball, and who changed the lives of so many — including mine — for the better. Thanks Coach. https://t.co/fcjKOqYa32
— Sean Gregory (@seanmgregory) August 15, 2022
Am very saddened to hear that the One and Only Pete Carril has passed. We are talking about a true American Original.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) August 15, 2022
I believe that in defining greatness in coaches u must determine if they get maximum out of their TEAM personnel . PETE CARRIL is a prime example of a brilliant coaching mind that got max out of his talent . May Coach RIP ! @ESPN App https://t.co/8kHMczqUWD
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 15, 2022
Famed for his run at Princeton — and likewise beloved throughout his years as an assistant in Sacramento with some incredibly successful and ultra-watchable Kings teams — Pete Carril passed away today at 92. One of the true giants and true gents from the world of coaching. #RIP https://t.co/kgVdPH8RD8
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 15, 2022
This is one of the great basketball books ever. No “X’s and O’s” but fun, common sense basketball insight. If you are a fan of the game, please order & read this. My favorite Pete Carril line from the book was, “Never recruit a kid with a three-car garage.” RIP, Coach. 🙏🏻🏀 pic.twitter.com/EyV54K5mRV
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) August 15, 2022
Thank you to the @Princeton , @PrincetonMBB and especially the Carril Family for letting ALL of us watch, study and take from Coach Pete Carril His players and coaches were truly blessed and the rest of us were fortunate to see his brilliance and creativity pic.twitter.com/dDx5aaEjd8
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) August 15, 2022