BOZICH | If Louisville basketball, Padgett call, Crum & Williams will serve
Former Louisville Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and U of L player Tony Williams said they would be happy to help Cards' acting coach David Padgett this season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Denny Crum does not want to run the University of Louisville basketball program again.
Been there. Done that – at a Hall of Fame level for nearly 30 years. Two NCAA titles. Six Final Fours. You know the resume. Crum is 80.
But understand that if the Louisville basketball program needs Crum’s assistance, any assistance, he’s prepared to answer and respond.
Ditto for Tony Williams, a former U of L player for Crum from 1996-2000. Williams is immediately available after stepping down as head coach at Doss High School last spring.
"I would help (acting head coach David Padgett)," Crum said. "I sure would, if he needed any help that I could give. That’s what I would do.”
"I’d definitely help in any way possible," Williams said.
Remember: Crum had to be airlifted to a hospital in Alaska last month and quickly administered a clot-buster shot after he suffered stroke symptoms while on a fishing trip with his wife, Susan, and a guide at a remote location nearly two hours from Anchorage.
On Monday, Crum was back at work doing what he has done since his forced retirement opened the U of L job for Rick Pitino 16 years ago – generating money and support for U of L.
This time it was at his annual golf event. Crum said that if Padgett needed a veteran set of eyes and voice to help him plot strategy or practices, he would serve with enthusiasm.
"I don’t want to be in charge,” Crum said. “I don’t want to go on the road recruiting. I don’t want to have to deal with problems. But I would be happy to help David."
“Wouldn’t that be great?” said Roger Burkman, one of Crum’s players on the 1980 NCAA championship team. “I’ve always thought that (he could still help).
“How many years has he been retired now (16)? Every year I’ve thought Coach probably could help them out with a couple of out of bounds plays or what about our stack-pick play they never run anymore to get an easy dunk?”
As I said, it would have to be in a limited capacity. No road trips. No late hours. Nothing greater than your average 80-year-old could handle.
Not that Crum is your average 80-year-old.
He isn’t. Crum was back in a deer stand, hunting with his crossbow, less than a week after his latest health scare. He’s also taken an extensive fishing trip since returning from Alaska.
Crum and his friends hosted the 16th annual Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation golf scramble at the University of Louisville Golf Club Monday afternoon. About 90 golfers participated, generating income for Crum’s scholarship foundation, which has provided 100 scholarships of $1,000 for U of L students this fall.
Crum’s foundation has raised more than $650,000. In 2002, only seven scholarships were awarded. The grants have increased every year.
Crum’s event was supported Monday by former U of L players Williams, Butch Beard, Roger Burkman, Junior Bridgeman, Wade Houston, Jerry Eaves, LaBradford Smith and Luke Whitehead.
Williams also has the endorsement of Burkman, the athletic director at Spalding University. Burkman said he has encouraged Padgett to call Williams.
“Tony would be an awesome coach,” Burkman said. “He’s got a great background. He’s a Louisville guy. Great personality. He’d be a great recruiter. He’s already proven himself at the high school level, what kind of coach that he is.”
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