Pat Riley, a member of the famous Rupp’s Runts, played in the 1966 National Championship game. Whiile in the NBA he played on one NBA Championship team (L.A. Lakers) and coached 5 NBA Championship teams (the 80s Showtime Lakers and the 2006 Miami Heat). The man was a coaching genius who could get multiple star caliber players to mesh into a cohesive team and win. No easy feat. Especially in todays game. He, also, took the ’94 Knicks to the Championship game but came up short that year. No one has been able to do much with the Knicks since.Coach Riley joins his mentor and Coach–Adolph Rupp–in the Hall of Fame as well as NBA greats like Red Auerbach and other legendary NCAA coaches such as John Wooden.
Congrats Coach Riley on a great honor and an incredible and exemplary career.
This is an excellent article on Coach Riley by Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier Journal. (article here)
“I wish that coach (Adolph) Rupp, Harry Lancaster, Joe B. Hall, Mr. (Bill) Keightley and Louie (Dampier), Larry (Conley), Thad (Jaracz) and Tommy (Kron), God bless him, could be here to share this moment with me because the University of Kentucky was a special time in my life,” Riley said.
Indeed it was. Riley arrived at UK in 1963 from Schenectady, N.Y. He credited his basketball development to all 16 of his coaches, starting with his first coach — his father, Leon, a minor league baseball player.
At UK, Riley said he was assigned to share a room with Dampier, another freshman, from Southport, Ind. Riley had not begun to slick back his hair, but he said when he pulled out his blue-suede shoes and fancy clothes, the more conservative Dampier flinched.
Said Riley: “Louie had to be thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ve got to live with this guy the next four years?’ “