That '70s Show

Led by inimitable coach Al McGuire, the '77 Warriors had a style of their own--and they weren't above a little infighting on their way to the title
July 01, 2007

There was nocoach quite like Marquette's Al McGuire. Case in point: the Warriors' 1977 NCAAtournament first-round game against Cincinnati. As the first half wound down,McGuire benched sophomore sharpshooter Bernard Toone for improvising on a setplay. "This is the honest truth," recalls Toone. "During thetimeout I said to Coach, 'You know something? You're a mother------ to playfor.' "

Minutes later McGuire stormed into the locker room screaming, "Where is he?That son of a bitch! I'll kill him! I'll cut his throat!" McGuire foundToone sitting on a chair, chewing an orange. "He put his finger on my cheekand pushed my face, so I reacted like a New York kid," says Toone, who grewup in Yonkers. "I jumped up, grabbed him by the collar and flung him ontothe taping table."

Assistant coachRick Majerus pulled Toone outside as McGuire got up, pacing the room with achair in his hands, ready to hurl it. The coach cooled off, then called theplayer back in and proceeded with his halftime strategy talk as if nothing hadhappened. Marquette took the floor, ripped off 13 straight points and beat theBearcats 66-51. Toone finished with six rebounds, tied for the team high.

McGuire, who diedin 2001, said the altercation with Toone launched the Warriors on theirchampionship run. Using their signature stingy 2-3 zone defense, they downedKansas State, Wake Forest and UNC-Charlotte to reach the final, then outhustledNorth Carolina for a 67-59 victory.

A mix ofathleticism, attitude and blacktop swagger fueled the team. Top scorer andtournament MVP Butch Lee (19.6 points per game) grew up in Harlem; big menJerome Whitehead and Bo Ellis, from rough neighborhoods in Chicago, dominatedthe boards; and playmaker Jim Boylan was a native of Jersey City, N.J. "Wewere street fighters," says Ellis, whom McGuire allowed to design theteam's memorably odd uniforms. "That's why Coach recruited us, because ofour aggressiveness and our fire."

The Warriors'outsider image is reflected in their official team photo: McGuire had them posein tuxedos in front of a white '34 Packard at the Brooks-Stevens AutomotiveMuseum near Milwaukee. "It was something out of the ordinary," saysEllis of the shot. It was also a fitting portrait of one of the NCAA's mostextraordinary champions.

1 Jim Boylan
Guard
A 13-year veteran NBA assistant coach, now in his third season with the Bulls.Lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

 

2 Bill Neary
Forward
Lawyer at Lichtsinn & Haensel, a family 
and municipal law 
firm. Liveswith his wife and kids in Milwaukee.

 

3 Ulice Payne
Forward
Former CEO of the Milwaukee Brewers, now president of Addison-Clifton, aconsulting firm. Lives in Brookfield, Wis.

 

4 Butch Lee
Guard
Owns Sign-A-Rama, 
a billboard franchise 
in Puerto Rico. Lives with his wifeand two sons in his hometown of San Juan.

 

5 Jim Dudley
Forward
Owner of JDA eHealth System, which specializes in research and software fordoctors. Lives in Lisle, Ill.

 

6 Gary Rosenberger
Guard
Semiretired after 30 years in mortgage banking; most recently was a VP atMerrill Lynch. Lives in Sanford, Fla., with his wife.

 

7 Bernard Toone
Forward
Played a season in the NBA and five more professionally overseas. Lives in 
hishometown of Yonkers, N.Y.

 

8 Jerome Whitehead
Center
Retired from the NBA in 1989 after an 11-year career. Now works as a rep forPrimerica Financial Services. Lives in El Cajon, Calif.

 

9 Craig Butrym
Center
A senior vice president of Level 3 Communications’s federalgovernment
division. Lives in 
New Berlin, Wis.

 

10 Robert Byrd
Forward
President of First Tee of Milwaukee, a program that teaches golf to inner-citychildren. Lives in Milwaukee.

 

11 Bo Ellis
Forward
Sports administrator for the Chicago public schools, speaks to elementary youthand directs camps. Lives in South Holland, Ill.

 

Mark Lavin
Guard
(Not in team picture.) Played nine games as a walk-on in ’77. President of WestTelemarketing Group. Lives in Omaha.

PHOTOJAMES DRAKE (COVER) PHOTOTEAM PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (MCGUIRE) TWELVE PHOTOSMAGGIE CASEY (HEAD SHOTS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)