Crean Named 28th Men's Basketball Coach at Indiana
April 2, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Tom Crean, who averaged over 20 wins a season in nine years at Marquette and led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA Tournament appearances including the 2003 Final Four, has been named the 28th head basketball coach in Indiana University history, IU President Michael McRobbie and Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan announced on Wednesday.
"I am very pleased to have a coach of Tom Crean's quality come to Indiana University to lead our men's basketball program," McRobbie said. "Coach Crean has had great success on the court but he is also known for his community involvement and his commitment to the academic success of his players. I am very pleased to welcome him to Indiana."
In each of his final seven seasons, Crean's team posted at least 19 wins and earned a postseason berth. Over those seven years, he compiled an aggregate record of 160-68 (.702). He is a two-time recipient of the Ray Meyer Conference USA, NABC District XI and USBWA District V Coach of the Year awards, and in 2003 won the Coach Clair Bee Award as well as being named a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award.
"I am so appreciative of the commitment to excellence that Tom has demonstrated in the past and the many outstanding qualities, experiences and attributes that he possesses that will help us achieve our goals of academic and athletic excellence in our basketball program," Greenspan said.
Crean built the Marquette program to the level where it has remained one of college basketball's best since 2001. Since November 2001, the Golden Eagles spent 81 weeks in the rankings, including all but one week of the 2007-08 season, as the squad was ranked as high as 10th by the AP. In his nine years with the Golden Eagles, Crean's squad earned five NCAA Tournament bids, one more than the previous four Marquette coaches had in the 16 years prior to his arrival.
"The committee considered a wide range of excellent candidates and we are confident that in Tom Crean we found a coach who will be a great fit for Indiana," Search Committee Chair Harry Gonso said.
Crean expressed his excitement to join a program with as much tradition and success as Indiana and is eager to add his stamp to IU Basketball.
"I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are to join the Indiana University family," Crean said. "This is one of the elite institutions and basketball programs in America and we take the responsibility of upholding that tradition very seriously. We want to build a program that the people of Indiana can be proud of, both on and off the basketball court."
Crean and IU agreed to an eight-year, $18.24 million deal that will pay him an average of $2.3 million per season.
In Crean's nine seasons, Golden Eagles players earned 22 All-Conference selections and grasped the program's first conference player of the year award, when Dwyane Wade won Conference USA's top honor in 2003. Wade also went on to become the first Marquette player since 1978 to be named an Associated Press First Team All-American and finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.
In 2007-08, Crean's squad put together a 25-10 season and earned the No. 6 seed in the NCAA South Regional. The Golden Eagles topped Kentucky in the first round and lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 seed Stanford in overtime to come up just shy of a trip to the Sweet 16. MU finished tied for fifth in the BIG EAST with an 11-7 conference record.
Marquette had three All-BIG EAST selections this season, as Lazar Hayward, Dominic James and Jerel McNeal all picked up second team accolades. MU was one of just two teams in the 16-squad BIG EAST to have three players selected to the first and second teams. James was a first team all-conference selection in 2006-07 as well, while McNeal was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2006, Steve Novak was a unanimous first team all-conference selection and went on to be selected by the Houston Rockets in the NBA Draft. That followed Travis Diener's All-American selection in 2005, joining Wade as Golden Eagles to earn the recognition under Crean's direction. Diener was selected 38th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2005 Draft.
In Marquette's first two years in the BIG EAST, the Golden Eagles posted 20-plus wins and finished in the conference's top four in both seasons. Marquette also picked up NCAA Tournament bids and won 10 conference games in both years. MU had strength in regular-season tournaments as well, winning the CBE Classic in 06-07 by topping Texas Tech and Duke and taking the Great Alaska Shootout in 2005-06.
The Golden Eagles earned trips to the National Invitation Tournament in both 2003-04 and 2004-05, their final two seasons in Conference USA. The squad won 19 games each season and posted its finest start (13-1) in over a quarter century in 2004-05.
The 2002-03 campaign was one of the finest in Golden Eagle history, as Crean's squad made a Final Four appearance for the first time since winning the NCAA Championship in 1977. MU won 27 games that year, 14 in conference play, thanks in part to the play of Wade in his All-America season. The Golden Eagles finished the regular season ranked No. 9 by the Associated Press and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll and their .818 winning percentage was the program's best since 1977-78.
Crean's breakthrough season came in 2001-02, as he coached Marquette to a 26-7 record and the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997. The 26 victories were the third-most all-time and represented the program's first 20-win season since 1997. The Golden Eagles secured 13 conference victories, the most in program history, and posted an undefeated home season at 16-0. In each of his first two seasons with MU, the Golden Eagles won 15 games and finished in the top four of the C-USA standings.
Prior to his arrival in Milwaukee, Crean served under Tom Izzo on the Michigan State basketball staff for four seasons, holding the position of associate head coach the last two. Crean also served as the Spartans' recruiting coordinator, where he routinely lured some of the nation's top talent to East Lansing, including two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Mateen Cleaves and two-time first team All-Big Ten selection Morris Peterson.
In Crean's four years on Izzo's staff, the Spartans put together an 88-41 record and made four consecutive postseason appearances, including a trip to the 1999 Final Four. In each of Crean's four seasons, MSU's win total increased, culminating with a 33-5 season and a 15-1 Big Ten ledger in 1999.
Prior to his tenure at Michigan State, Crean spent the 1994-95 season as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh and served as the associate head coach at Western Kentucky from 1990 to 1994. In each of his final two seasons with the Hilltoppers, WKU earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, including a Sun Belt Championship and a trip to the Sweet 16.
Crean got his start in coaching on the Division I level in 1989-90, serving on Jud Heathcote's staff at Michigan State. That team posted a 28-6 record and earned a Sweet 16 trip after winning the Big Ten.
A native of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Crean earned his bachelor's degree in parks and recreation with a minor in psychology from Central Michigan in 1989. While pursuing his degree, Crean coached basketball at Alma College and Mount Pleasant High School.
Tom and his wife, Joani, are the parents of Megan, 12, Riley, 8, and Ainsley, 2.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT TOM CREAN...
"Tom Crean is one of the great young coaches in the country and did an incredible job at Marquette, going to a Final Four and establishing it as one of the top programs in the Big East. He's been in the Big Ten and understands how important the basketball program is to the university and its fans. He will fit in very well at Indiana and continue their great basketball tradition."
-Tom Izzo - Head Coach, Michigan State University
"Tom has always been a very, very hard worker, almost a fanatic ... One thing that has served him well throughout the years is his work ethic. He and Tom Izzo have always understood what hard work can accomplish and what it takes to be successful at that level."
-Jud Heathcote - Former Head Coach, Michigan State University
"I'm thrilled to death for Tom. He is going to a place I really think is unique in college basketball. Indiana has had some unbelievable people there and is a real unique atmosphere. Tom embodies everything you want in a college coach. He can coach, he cares about his kids, and he respects tradition. That is a pretty good combination."
-Larry Brown - Basketball Hall of Fame Coach and Philadelphia 76ers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations
"Obviously, being a Marquette alum I was quite disappointed for the school when I heard the news because he was terrific at Marquette, not only as recruiter and a coach but as a person and in the community. As happy as they are now, Indiana will be even more happy a year or two down the line. He'll be great for the program and for the community. I don't think it could be a better fit."
-Doc Rivers - Boston Celtics Head Coach
"Tom is a great coach. He is incredibly hard-working and his teams are always well-prepared. Tom is as passionate as any coach I have been around, and he will do a great job. I've always viewed Indiana as one of the top 10 basketball coaching jobs in the United States. The talent in the state of Indiana is there to recruit, and I expect Tom to do great things. He has a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and no one will outwork him."
-Doug Collins - TNT Analyst and Former NBA Head Coach
"Tom Crean going to Indiana is one of the great hires of the past few years. He will do a great job at IU. The Big East's loss is the Big Ten's gain. Tom will do a phenomenal job for the Hoosiers."
-Digger Phelps - ESPN Analyst
"Indiana hired one of the fine young coaches in the college game in Tom Crean. He has uncommon energy and passion for teaching and winning, and he is one of the most detail-oriented and hard working coaches I have ever been around. There is no coach that I respect and admire more than Tom Crean. He is the real thing."
-Jay Bilas - ESPN Analyst
"Indiana has hit a home run with this hire! I don't know another coach who is more talented, driven or committed to excellence than Tom Crean. His passion and intellect are unmatched and he has great character as well."
-Seth Davis - Sports Illustrated/CBS Sports
"Indiana's men's basketball program needed a CEO and it's hard to find a coach who emulates a business model more than Tom Crean. He will be on top of all aspects of the program from coaching to recruiting to every nuance that is needed in running a top-flight program. Crean has done a masterful job building Marquette into a traditional Big East power. He should be able to steer this program back toward its rightful path of being a model for the Big Ten and the NCAA."
-Andy Katz - Senior Writer, ESPN.com
"Tom Crean is the right man for the job. And this is the right job for the man. He's as driven as anyone I've ever met, endlessly searching for ways to improve himself and improve his program. This is the kind of job Tom always envisioned for himself, and it should be a great marriage of a coach with the total package and a program that demands the total package. From Gary to Rising Sun and from Evansville to Angola, he'll be a great statewide ambassador for Indiana basketball."
-Pat Forde - Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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