Princeton Basketball: Start Calling Him "Doctor Carril"

Mark BatorAnalyst IIJune 20, 2012

Carri's greatest victory may have been the NCAA opening round win over UCLA in 1996.
Carri's greatest victory may have been the NCAA opening round win over UCLA in 1996.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On June 5, former basketball coach Pete Carril received an honorary doctorate from Princeton University during the school's commencement ceremony.

Carril, who has the court at Jadwin Gym named after him, coached the men's basketball team for 29 seasons, winning 13 Ivy League titles and amassing a 514-261 record overall.

After coming to Princeton in 1967, Carril's teams went to 13 postseason tournaments (11 NCAA tournaments and 2 NIT appearances). His team won the NIT in 1975, but Carril may be best known for one particular NCAA opening round victory in his last season as head coach in 1996.

Princeton had faced UCLA in a game that no one expected them to win during the opening round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Heavy underdogs, the Tigers won the game over the Bruins. It ended up being Carril's last victory as a head coach.

When he left Princeton in 1996, he was the only Division-I coach to ever win 500 games without giving one single player a scholarship. The Ivy League prohibits collegiate scholarships for athletics.

"Doctor" Carril's prescription for winning basketball games revolved around a pressing, harassing defense and an offense that moved the ball with precision passing. His teams frequently utilized the back-door scoring play.

After his time at Princeton, Carril—a member of basketball's Hall of Fame—then went on to an assistant coaching job with the Sacramento Kings, which lasted until November 2011.