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He wasn't the Mt. Rushmore icon like a Bob Knight or Coach K or a John Wooden or an Adolph Rupp.

No, Pete Carril wouldn't want that if it were even suggested.

Better to find him at Andy's Tavern in Princeton, fixing the problems of college basketball and the world from the cheaper seats.

In case you missed it, Pete Carril passed away this week at the age of 92.

All he did was win 514 games, spent 29 years  as the Princeton men's basketball coach, during which time the Tigers made it into 11 NCAA tournaments after or sharing 13 Ivy League titles.

No one wanted to play Princeton during March Madness when Carril was coaching the Tigers.

But that was not what he was about.  He was about people and the real world.

I first ran into Carril in 1979 when he was well into his career at Princeton and I was just starting mine, working as a sports writer at the Trenton Times.

As we talked in his cluttered office, he wanted a cup of coffee, but the only cup available was sitting on his desk, being used as a container for assorted items.

Pete dumped the debris from the cup and spent 10 minutes cleaning it to where it could accept a fresh cup of java. He poured the coffee in, wanted some cream,  but had no instrument to stir in the cream.

Pete sighed, but then spotted a magic marker under some debris by his foot and happily stirred his coffee.

My favorite Carril stories may  be somewhat apocryphal, but fit.

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One time in the early 70's, a New York Times reporter, arriving at a post game press conference late, said, "Coach, coach, what do you have for the New York Times?

Carril paused, looked at the reporter and said, "Tell the US to get out of Viet Nam.''

And then there was this gem.

Carril had an above average player who could do everything well, except make foul shots.

The coach tried everything, tough guy nice guy.

Nothing worked.

Finally, Carril had had enough. He got in the players face and heaped verbal   abuse on him.

Nothing, but Carril noticed that the player started to clench his fits.

"Good,' 'he said. "You're mad. Tell you want I'm going to do. I am going to let you take a shot at me, but before I do, I'm going to put on a a tee-shirt and it's going to say ""Free throw'' 

And you know what, you'll miss me.''

With that the player started to laugh and so did Carril, the barrier broken.

Coaches will continue to win games, but no one will come along with the total package that Pete Carril offered.