Denny Crum's low-key personality worked wonders on the collegiate level. A teacher and a motivator, Crum annually built teams that play their best basketball at tournament time. After 30 seaons at Louisville, Crum retired on March 2, 2001, and had assembled a statistical package that would make any coach jealous. The man known as "Cool Hand Luke" has patrolled the sidelines at the University of Louisville for the since 1971, and the Cardinals were a dominant college program, especially in the 1980s. Only three other coaches have coached more NCAA Final Four teams than Crum, who has taken Louisville to six Final Fours (1972, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986). Crum, who led Louisville to the 1980 and 1986 NCAA championship, was an assistant under John Wooden at UCLA for three NCAA titles. In 1993, Crum became the second fastest coach in history to win 500 games.
During his career, Crum has been named College Coach of the Year three times (1980, 1983, 1986), and has been Metro Conference Coach of the Year five times. Crum's record (675-295) included 21 seasons with 20 or more wins, including 14 straight. He also compiled three seasons of 30 or more victories. Crum retired as the 19th winningest coach in college basketball history and 16th in Division I. His .696 winning percentage is 49th best in history. Crum coached Louisville to 23 NCAA tournament appearances, including 19 in a 24-years stretch. Three of his squads have participated in the NIT. Under Crum, the Cardinals have captured or shared 12 Metro Conference regular season titles and 11 post season tournament championships. He has coached 28 players who have played in the NBA. On the international level, Crum coached the 1977 USA World University Team to a gold medal and the 1987 Pan American team to a silver medal. Crum is a 1958 graduate of UCLA, where he played two seasons for Hall of Famer John Wooden. He coached at Pierce Junior College (CA) for four seasons, and in 1968, became Wooden's top assistant and chief recruiter until becoming head coach at Louisville in 1971.