Pete Newell (8/31/15 - 11/17/08)
Pete Newell was inducted in to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. He is often considered one of the most influential figures in the history of basketball, a true guru. Coach Newell is recognized around the world for his teachings and methodology specializing in front court play.
Pete Newell had an outstanding career as the men's basketball coach at the University of San Francisco (1946-1950), Michigan State (1950-1954), University of California Berkeley (1954-1960) and USA Men's Basketball (summer 1960). While at USF, he lead the Don's to the NIT Championship in 1949. Upon his return to the Bay Area the Golden Bears won four consecutive Pac-8 championships from 1957-1960 and amassed a winning record vs. John Wooden at UCLA. Newell's Cal teams appeared in consecutive national championship games (winning in 1959 and runner up in 1960). Upon being selected national coach of the year, Pete led USA Men's Basketball to an Olympic Gold Medal in Rome at the 1960 Summer Olympiad. Newell is one of three coaches in the history of basketball to win the "triple crown" as a head coach (NIT, NCAA and Olympic Gold Medal).
Following his 21 year coaching career, Pete served as the athletic director at Cal and later as a general manager and consultant with three different NBA franchises (Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors). His work internationally with the Japanese Basketball Association earned him the recognition of "The Order of The Sacred Treasure" from the Emperor of Japan in 1987.
Considered "America's Basketball Guru", Newell conducted an annual training camp for centers and forwards known simply as "Big Man Camp". The camp originated when word spread that Newell was working with Kermit Washington. After Washington's game rapidly improved, more and more big men started to work with Newell, and he later opened the camp. The camp's impressive participants list features over 200 current and former NBA players. Newell attracted this list of players due to his reputation of teaching footwork. Former attendees include Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Walton, and many others. The camp was almost seen as standard for players coming out of college into the NBA; according to ESPN's Ric Bucher, "From the time Newell opened the camp in 1976, every big man of any significance has spent at least one summer week trying to get close enough to Pete."
In 2001, Pete Newell and Bill McClintock opened "Pete Newell's Tall Women's Basketball Camp" following a simple sentence serving as a summary of its intentions: "The Pete Newell Tall Women's Basketball Camp goal is to continue to do what Pete Newell has done his whole life-to teach the fundamentals and footwork of the game of basketball to young players." Today 11 former campers have played in the WNBA, dozens professionally overseas, and over 140 college basketball programs are represented in our alumni.
Since 1976, Pete Newell's camps have provided: NBA, WNBA, and aspiring college players the opportunity to focus on footwork and fundamentals while concentrating on reading the defense.