Denny Crum Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Denny Crum    

Former Men's College Basketball Coach at the University of Louisville in Kentucky

Denny Crum, born March 2, 1937, is a former American men's college basketball coach at the University of Louisville from 1971 to 2001, compiling a 675–295 record. He guided the Cardinals to two NCAA championships (1980, 1986) and six Final Fours. Honored in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 1994, Crum is one of the major figures in the history of sports in Kentucky and in college basketball in general.

As the head coach at U of L, Crum is widely credited with pioneering the now-common strategy of scheduling tough non-conference match-ups early in the season in order to prepare his teams for March's NCAA tournament, where one defeat ends the season. Crum's prolific post-season play and calm demeanor earned him the monikers "Mr. March" and his most well-known nickname, "Cool Hand Luke."

Crum was born in San Fernando, California. From 1954—1956, Denny Crum played basketball at Los Angeles Pierce College. In 1956, he transferred to UCLA to play for John Wooden. While at UCLA, Crum was honored with the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy for outstanding first-year varsity player. He also received the Bruin Bench Award for most improved player the following year.

After graduating in 1958, Crum served as a freshman coach under John Wooden at UCLA. The following year, he returned to Pierce College to serve as head coach. After four years at Pierce College, Crum was rehired by Wooden as a top assistant coach and chief recruiter. As a coach at UCLA, he accompanied Wooden to three NCAA titles. He remained at UCLA until his departure for Louisville in 1971.

In 1971, Crum was hired as head coach by the University of Louisville, taking over from John Dromo. By 1972, Crum had taken his first team to the NCAA Final Four. Crum would go on to lead the Louisville Cardinals to five more final fours (1975, 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1986). He is tied for fifth all-time in number of final four appearances with Adolph Rupp and Tom Izzo. They rank behind John Wooden, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, and Roy Williams.

On March 24, 1980, the Cardinals became NCAA Tournament champions after defeating Crum's alma mater, UCLA, 59—54. Crum's 1980 national champions have been credited with popularizing the High-5. Six years later, Louisville would overcome Duke 72—69 for a second title. Crum is one of only eleven coaches to achieve two or more national championships. In 30 seasons, Crum took the Cardinals to 23 NCAA tournaments, where they had an overall record of 43-23.

While in the Metro Conference, the Cardinals won 12 regular season titles and 11 tournament championships. In its 19 years of naming a champion, the Metro had Louisville as first or second place 17 times.

In 1993, Crum became the second fastest coach to reach 500 wins. He ranks 16th in overall Division I wins.

Denny Crum coached the 1977 USA World University Team, where he won a gold medal. In 1987, he coached the Pan American team to a silver medal.


Denny Crum talks NCAA Tournament | Video Library | The Courier ...
Denny Crum is no stranger to NCAA Tournaments. The former University of Louisville head coach says the Cards are on a roll, and if they can keep it up things ...
Louisville Coaching Legend Denny Crum On The Mac Attack « CBS ...
Mac Attack 4/04/13:Louisville coaching legend Denny Crum joined the guys to discuss what he is up to now, the memories of his National Championships, and  ...
Hall of Fame Coach Crum Retires - ABC News
Hall of Fame Coach Crum Retires. L O U I S V I L L E, Ky., March 2. By Chris Duncan. Denny Crum retired today on his 64th birthday, ending a 30-year career at ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Denny