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Legendary men’s basketball coach Pete Carril passes away at 92

<h5><strong>Pete Carril (left) speaks with Chris Doyal </strong>‘96 <strong>during the 1996 NCAA tournament win against UCLA&nbsp;</strong></h5>
<h6><strong>Lawrence French</strong> <strong>via </strong><a href="" target="_self"><strong>Princeton Alumni Weekly</strong></a></h6>
Pete Carril (left) speaks with Chris Doyal ‘96 during the 1996 NCAA tournament win against UCLA 
Lawrence French via Princeton Alumni Weekly

One of the most brilliant minds in college basketball history has passed away.

On Monday, Aug. 15, Pete Carril, who led the Tigers’ men’s basketball team to over 500 wins during his three decades at the helm of the program, died at the age of 92. Carril was Princeton’s head coach from 1967 to 1996 before he became an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.


“The Carril family is sad to report that Coach Peter J. Carril passed away peacefully this morning,” his family said in a statement. “We kindly ask that you please respect our privacy at this time as we process our loss and handle necessary arrangements. More information will be forthcoming in the following days.”

Perhaps the single most successful coach in Ivy League basketball history, Carril led the Tigers to 13 conference championships and 11 NCAA tournament berths, as well as the National Invitation Tournament title in 1975. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997, one year after retiring from his position as the Tigers’ head coach. In 2009, Princeton named Carril Court in Jadwin Gymnasium in his honor.

Carril was arguably best known for inventing the Princeton Offense, a system based on patient passing and off-ball movement that has left a remarkable influence on the modern game.

“His approach was three-pointers and layups,” Jesse Rosenfeld ’97, a former player of Carril’s, noted in an article published by The Daily Princetonian last year. “Look how ahead of the curve he was on where basketball was going.”

Wilson Conn is a co-head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at or on Twitter at @wilson_conn.