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Al McGuire loses battle with blood disorder at age of 72

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McGuire quotes

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McGuire - The player's College Basketball coverage

Monday, June 21, 2004
McGuire moments

  • Born Alfred Emanuel McGuire on Sept., 7 1928 in the Bronx (New York City).

  • Growing up in Queens, Al and his brothers John and Dick often teamed up on the basketball court. The court near his family's tavern in Rockaway was nicknamed "McGuire's playground."

  • Dick McGuire was the more gifted player and starred for St. John's and played for the New York Knicks. Dick won the Haggerty Award, given to New York City's top collegiate player, twice.

  • In high school at St. John's Prep, Al was all-city in football and basketball.

  • In 1945, St John's Prep played its annual Turkey Bowl against rival Brooklyn Prep. Joe Paterno caught the winning pass as Brooklyn defeated Al McGuire's St. John's team 7-6.

  • Al followed his brother to St. John's. He played on the varsity during 1948-51, serving as captain of the 1950-51 team. Known more as a defensive player, McGuire averaged 8.1 points a game.

  • McGuire was also offered football scholarships to Holy Cross and Notre Dame.

  • Frank McGuire (no relation) was Al's coach at St. John's.

  • Al married Pat Sharkey in 1950.

  • In 1951, Al was not selected in the NBA draft, but talked New York Knicks coach Joe Lapchick into a tryout. (Al's brother Dick was playing for the Knicks) Al made the team and played with the Knicks for three seasons (1951-52 through 1953-54).

  • Before the 1954-55 season, McGuire was traded to the Baltimore Bullets. The Bullets folded 14 games into the season and his pro career was over.

  • In 1954, McGuire was scheduled to take an FBI employment test, but played golf instead.

  • Alvin "Doggie" Julian hired Al in 1954 at Dartmouth, where he coached the freshman team for two seasons.

  • McGuire's first head coaching job was at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C. His college coach, Frank McGuire, then at the University of North Carolina, recommended him to Belmont Abbey, where he coached during 1958-64.

  • McGuire was hired by Marquette University in 1965. He coached the Warriors until he retired in 1977.

  • During 1969-77, only Marquette and UCLA finished in every AP top 15 final poll.

  • McGuire, upset that the Warriors were sent to the Midwest regional instead of the Mideast, declined an invitation to the 1970 NCAA tournament. Marquette went to the NIT and defeated St. John's 65-53 for the title.

  • McGuire was named coach of the year in 1971 (AP, UPI and USBWA) and 1974 (NABC).

  • During 1967-73, Marquette had an 81-game home winning streak, sixth longest in NCAA history.

  • On March 28, 1977, Marquette defeated North Carolina 67-59 for the national championship on the same night Rocky won the Academy Award for best picture. McGuire had announced his plans to retire after the season earlier in the year.

  • McGuire, who had announced his intentions earlier in the season, retired after the championship tournament.

  • Only two other coaches have won the national title in their last college game -- Larry Brown at Kansas in 1988 and John Wooden at UCLA in 1975.

  • His 20-year record as a head coach was 405-143.

  • In 1978, McGuire joined Billy Packer and Dick Enberg on NBC's college basketball broadcasts.

  • McGuire was named to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

  • McGuire was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding sports personality analyst in 1987 and 1989.

  • In 1992, CBS hired McGuire as a college basketball analyst.

  • The McGuires become the only brothers in the Basketball Hall of Fame when Dick is inducted in 1993. Al was inducted a year earlier. Both are also enshrined in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.

  • In 1997, Marquette retired the number 77 in his honor on the 20th anniversary of the 1977 national championship.

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