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Denny Crum Speaker Profile


Basketball, Coaches


Denny Crum served as men's basketball coach at Louisville from 1971 - 2001 and led the Cardinals to six Final Fours and two NCAA championships.

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Denny Crum is a former basketball coach who most notably led the Louisville Cardinals from 1971-2001. Crum played basketball at UCLA from 1956-58 and was an assistant coach to the Bruins under John Wooden from 1963-1971. UCLA won nine NCAA Division I Championships during Crum’s time as an assistant coach and recruiter for the Bruins. A year after becoming head coach at Louisville, Crum led the Cardinals to a Final Four appearance, where they lost to Wooden’s Bruins in 1972. It would be the first of six Final Fours in which he led the Cardinals.

Crum won two National Championships in 1980 and 1986 while at the helm in Louisville. He is one of just 11 coaches to win two or more National Championships. Overall, his Cardinals made 23 NCAA Tournaments during his tenure and tallied a 43-21 record. Crum, nicknamed “Cool Hand Luke,” had a reputation as a head coach for being calm in high-pressure situations. He won National Coach of the Year honors three times, in 1979, 1980, and 1983.

His Cardinals were 12-time Metro Conference champions and in the conference’s 20-year existence, from 1975-1995, Louisville finished the regular season in first or second place 17 times. Crum retired in 2001 with a career 675-295 record. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. His post-coaching activities have included hosting a radio show from 2004-2014 and creating the Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation.

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