Remembering Pete Carril

Pete Carril, Princeton’s Hall of Fame basketball coach, passed away on August 15, 2022 at the age of 92.

During Carril’s time at Princeton, his team won the National Invitational Tournament in 1975, won 13 Ivy League titles, and earned 11 NCAA tournament berths. He was the only Division I men’s coach to win more than 500 games without the benefit of athletic scholarships, and in 1997, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Carril is also famous for his system of play, known as the Princeton Offense, that demanded constant motion by all five players, with disciplined passing and quick cuts to the basket for open shots. This half court offense shaped how basketball is played from high school to the National Basketball Association.

The Smart Take from the Strong (Bison Books, 2004) reflects on a lifetime spent on the basketball court and the bench, demonstrating Carril’s deep respect for the contest, his empathy and engagement with the players, humility with his own achievements, a pragmatic vision of discipline and fundamentals, and an enduring joy in the game.

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