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Pete Carril, Princeton coaching legend and Hall of Famer, dies at 92

Vincent Frank
NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament West Regional-Arkansas vs Duke
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the true legends in the college basketball coaching ranks, the sports world is mourning the passing of Pete Carril at the age of 92.

His former Princeton University released a statement from Carril’s family on Monday announcing the legendary coach’s death over a quarter century following his departure from the program.

“The Carril family is sad to report that Coach Peter J. Carril passed away peacefully this morning. 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.”

Pete Carril family statement on passing of legendary coach

Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, back in 1930, Carril played basketball at Lafayette College before serving in the United States Army in Korea shortly after the war ended. He ultimately became the head coach at Easton Area High School and Reading Senior High School in Pennsylvania. This is when his coaching career took off.

Pete Carril, one of the last true old-school legends

pate carril
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Carril’s first stint in college ball was with Lehigh before he took over at Princeton in 1967. He ultimately spent an astonishing 29 years as the Tigers’ head coach — earning 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament.

In his final season with Princeton back in 1995-96, Carril led the program to a shocking upset of the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the tournament. It represented his final win with the program.

  • Pete Carril coaching record: 525-273, 11 tournament appearancs, three tournament wins

Carril is best known around the college basketball world for installing one of the best defensive schemes in the nation during his time with Princeton. After moving on from the Tigers, he spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, bringing that philosophy to the pros.

“If you think you are working hard, you can work harder. If you think you are doing enough, there is more that you can do. No one really ever exhausts his full potential.”

Pete Carril about the fundamentals of basketball

Those around the sports world paid tribute to the all-time great head coach following the announcement of his passing.