Former Marquette Basketball Coach Al McGuire Passes Away
Jan. 26, 2001
Al McGuire, the former Marquette University basketball coach and CBS sports commentator, died today. He was 72 years old. He was surrounded by his family and died peacefully this morning, according to his son Al.
"Our family has marveled over the past months at his inner strength and enthusiasm to live each day to its fullest. Even as his illness wreaked havoc on his body, he remained resolute in mind. He will be deeply missed," his son said.
The family will not be taking media calls nor will they release any further statement. McGuire is survived by his wife Patricia, three children, Alfred C., Noreen L., and Robert G., and six grandchildren.
Funeral services are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested memorials to the Milwaukee Blood Center Research Foundation.
The McGuire years at Marquette were characterized by firebrand players, standing-room-only crowds, 11 consecutive post-season tournaments and 20 wins a season. The Warriors came in second in the NIT in 1967, then won it in 1970. They came in second in the NCAA Championship in 1974, then won it in 1977, adding the finishing touch to the McGuire legend. After 13 years, with 295 wins and 80 losses, this two-time Coach of the Year left Marquette. In 1992 he received basketball's highest honor, election to the Hall of Fame. McGuire began his broadcast career as a color man for NBC, was an instant success with his unparalleled instincts for the game, and received two Emmy nominations. McGuireisms like "tap city," "aircraft carrier" and "French pastry" have peppered wire service sports releases as well as TV commentary and are now recognized terminology in the sport. After a long run at NBC, including color commentary at the Seoul Olympics, McGuire moved to CBS and during the 1992 NCAA Tournament added to the legend with his dramatic call of Georgia Tech's last-minute win in the regionals, "Holy Mackerel!"
McGuire served as chairman of the board of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. In his adopted home state of Wisconsin, he has been asked to run for U.S. Senate and gubernatorial positions. In 1978, the first Al's Run was initiated to raise money for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The run became an annual event, and since its inception has raised nearly $4 million. McGuire retired from the event in 1997, and Briggs & Stratton Corp. stepped forward as the title sponsor for the annual fall run/walk.
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