Hall Of Fame Coach Denny Crum Passes Away

Louisville’s legendary Coach Denny Crum has passed away today. He led UofL men’s basketball to their first two NCAA Championships and numerous Final Fours. In retirement, he still supported the program he helped build into a blue blood. Many times he could be seen in the stands proudly watching. His impact on the program and the university is incalculable.

Below, please see the official press release from UofL Athletics. Coach Denny Crum will be dearly missed by generations of Cardinal fans living and untold generations to come.

Press Release from Louisville Athletics:

UofL MBB: Legendary Louisville Basketball Coach Denny Crum Passes Away

Hall of Famer and two-time NCAA champion passed Tuesday morning at 86.

Date: May 9, 2023

Photos of Coach Crum from his time as UofL head coach forward are available at the following link. Mandatory credit to UofL Athletics required for use:https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/4rin3q7eproo92drhe4lm/h?dl=0&rlkey=wh0g0tip8jj4qut5pha5tp15d

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Denny Crum, who won two NCAA Championships while serving as the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball coach for 30 years (1971-2001), passed away at his home Tuesday morning. He was 86.

He directed Louisville to the 1980 and the 1986 NCAA Championships, ranking him as one of only 14 coaches in NCAA history to win two or more titles. Six times he guided the Cardinals into the NCAA Final Four, including four times in the decade of the ’80s. Only five coaches all-time coached more Final Four teams than Crum.

The man admirably labeled “Cool Hand Luke” by former commentator Al McGuire was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 9, 1994.

Crum guided the Cardinals to 23 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10th-most by a coach all-time.  Crum’s teams regularly faced one of the nation’s toughest schedules and he amassed a 675-295 career coaching record, including an impressive 42-22 NCAA Tournament mark.  Three of his squads participated in the NIT, reaching the NIT semifinals in 1985. The Cardinals captured or shared 12 Metro Conference regular season titles and 11 post-season tournament championships under Crum’s guidance. Crum engineered UofL to 20 or more victories in 21 of his 30 seasons.

After his retirement following the 2000-01 season, Crum continued to work as a special assistant to the UofL president for several years. The KFC Yum! Center court has been named in his honor.  Since 2001, The Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation and the Denny Crum Scholarship Fund at UofL have awarded over a million dollars benefiting over 425 students.  The San Fernando, Calif., native made Louisville his home and has lent countless hours of his time for charitable causes throughout the community for over 50 years.  

A new residence hall on the UofL campus was recently named in his honor.  Denny Crum Hall made possible by L&N Federal Credit Union opened in the fall 2022 semester and houses a mixture of student-athletes and non-student athletes. Men’s and women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse student-athletes – who each train in the adjoining facility, live in the residence hall.

Information on arrangements for Crum will be released once finalized.

Below is a second release with statements from current men’s basketball coach Kenny Payne, AD Josh Heird, and President Kim Schatzel:

Press Release from Louisville Athletics:

Statements from Dr. Kim Schatzel, Josh Heird and Kenny Payne on Denny Crum’s Passing

Date: May 9, 2023

Link to press release on Denny Crum’s passing:https://gocards.com/news/2023/5/9/legendary-louisville-basketball-coach-denny-crum-passes-away

Statement from University of Louisville President Dr. Kim Schatzel:

“The University of Louisville, our community and college basketball fans everywhere have lost a legend in Coach Denny Crum. Whether he was leading his beloved Cardinal teams, representing the university with alumni and friends or supporting the many community organizations that counted on his generous spirit and enthusiasm, Coach Crum left a legacy that is unmatched. He will be remembered not only for the many wins and championships, but also for his calm demeanor, warm sense of humor and deep love for his adopted hometown and its people. Our lives are better for having known him. Our hearts go out to Susan and the entire Crum family.”

Statement from UofL Director of Athletics Josh Heird:

“Today is an extremely sad day for all of us who love the Louisville Cardinals. Coach Crum brought so much joy and happiness to the UofL campus, the Louisville community, and countless fans across the country and the world for so many years. He embodied what a coach should be: he cared deeply about his players, he worked tirelessly for his university, he espoused the right values and stuck to them and he lived each and every day for his family. Coach gave his heart and soul to this university and this community and he will forever be a part of our past, present and future. Our prayers are with his wife, Susan, and the entire Crum family. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will honor and celebrate the wonderful life of Coach Denny Crum.”

Statement from UofL Men’s Basketball Coach Kenny Payne:

“Today is a sad day for me personally, as well as the basketball world. My thoughts go through all the lessons that he taught, not just to me, but every player he ever came in contact with. Those lessons are still relevant today. We were so blessed to have him in our lives. He was a true treasure who gave so much to university and the community. We must keep his memory alive. My prayers go out to his family and especially Susan. He is in a better place. Rest in peace Coach. You touched so many. Well done.”

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