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Crum talks to NH students about character, education

Crum talks to NH students about character, education
Crum talks to NH students about character, education
Denny Crum signs a student's basketball after speaking Monday afternoon at North Harrison High School. The Hall of Fame coach spent 30 years on the sidelines at the University of Louisville. (Photo by Ross Schulz)

One of college basketball’s all-time greatest coaches visited Ramsey Monday afternoon. Denny Crum, former head coach of the University of Louisville, spoke to the students at North Harrison High School as part of the school’s character education program.
‘I see your colors are blue and white,’ Crum said to the students. ‘I wore blue just to impress you.’
Crum spent most of his time talking about a person who has influenced him greatly in his life, John Wooden. The Hall of Famer grew up in the Indiana town of Martinsville.
‘I’ve never met a nicer or more intelligent person,’ Crum said, ‘He’s 97, and as sharp as a tack.’
Crum spoke about Wooden’s way of life and some of his coaching tactics. He said he never heard Wooden talk about winning, but about giving your best effort. ‘I’m proud to have had the opportunity to play and coach under him,’ Crum said.
Crum also talked about another Southern Indiana basketball legend, Larry Bird. Crum said none of his freshmen ever beat him in ‘horse,’ but there was one recruit who did: Bird. Crum was visiting Bird at Springs Valley High School and told Bird if he beat him in horse, then Bird would have to visit Louisville. Bird agreed, but never visited Louisville. Crum blamed the loss on bad lighting in the gym. He said half of the lights were out. ‘I couldn’t see the darn thing,’ said Crum.
Crum also spoke about another great college basketball coach and friend, Bobby Knight. Knight was hired at Indiana University a week after Crum began his tenure at Louisville. The one difference between the two successful coaches was their style. Crum has spoken with Knight on many occasions about his behavior. ‘I don’t know how he could expect players to set a good example if he didn’t,’ said Crum. Crum said Knight has a military background, which contributes to his coaching style. Crum said he would put Knight as the second-best coach in college basketball history, behind Wooden.
Crum had great things to say about North Harrison and told the students to appreciate their teachers.
‘The condition of this school impresses me as much as any school, and I’ve been to hundreds,’ said Crum. ‘You really have a beautiful place to get an education.’
Crum coached the Louisville Cardinals from 1971 to 2001, and guided the Cardinals to two national championships, in 1980 and 1986, and six Final Four appearances, ranking fourth all-time in Final Four appearances.
Last season, Louisville officially named the Freedom Hall floor ‘Denny Crum Court.’ Crum currently co-hosts the morning radio talk show ‘The Joe B. and Denny Show’ with former University of Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall.