Pete Carril

Not to be confused with Pete Carroll.
Pete Carril
Personal information
Born (1930-07-10) July 10, 1930
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Career information
College Lafayette (1948–1952)
Coaching career 1954–2011
Career history
As coach:
1954–1958 Easton HS (JV)
1958–1966 Reading HS
1966–1967 Lehigh
1967–1996 Princeton
Sacramento Kings (asst.)
Career highlights and awards
  • 13× Ivy League regular season champion (1968, 1969, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996)
  • NIT champion (1975)
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Peter Joseph Carril (born July 10, 1930) is an American former basketball coach. He is best known for his time as head coach of Princeton University and his use of the 'Princeton offense'. He also coached at Lehigh University and in the NBA as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings.

Early years

Carril was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of Spanish immigrants to the United States. He is a graduate of Liberty High School in Bethlehem, where he was an all-state selection for Pennsylvania in the 1947–48 season. He played collegiate basketball at Lafayette College under Butch Van Breda Kolff. While at Lafayette he became a member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.[1] Following graduation from college in 1952, Carril served in the United States Army; the Korean War was ceasing just when he was ordered to Korea, so Carril served as a public information officer after the war. In 1954, Carril became junior varsity basketball coach and ninth grade Pennsylvania history teacher at Easton High School in Easton, Pennsylvania. In 1958, Carril became varsity coach at Reading High School, where Gary Walters, the former Princeton Athletic Director, and former Princeton point guard, played basketball under him in high school.[2][3]

College coaching career

After a year at Lehigh University, Carril moved to Princeton University. In 29 years, he compiled a 514–261 (.663 winning percentage) record. He is also the only coach to win 500 games without the benefit of athletic scholarships for his players.[4] He won or shared 13 Ivy League championships and received 11 NCAA berths and 2 NIT bids. The Tigers won the NIT championship in 1975. Carril was noted for a tenacious defense, as his teams were first in the nation in scoring defense for fourteen of his final 21 seasons, including eight in a row, from 1988–1996. Although he only won three NCAA Tournament games at Princeton, his Tigers were known as a very dangerous early-round NCAA opponent.

In 1989, Princeton took first-ranked Georgetown down to the wire before losing, 50–49. Had the Tigers won, they would have been the first #16 seed to defeat a #1 seed since the NCAA began seeding the tournament field in 1979. Seven years later, Carril's final collegiate victory was an upset of defending national champions UCLA in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 1996 by a score of 43–41, in what is considered one of the greatest upsets of all time.[5][6]

The most lasting element of his college coaching legacy is likely to be the increasingly popular Princeton offense, a low-possession offensive system consisting of frequent ball reversal, movement without the ball and back-door cuts which he developed. John Thompson III, a former assistant to Carril, has adopted the Princeton offense at Georgetown and coached the Hoyas to the 2007 Final Four.

Coaching in the NBA

Carril was an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association for 10 years until his retirement in 2006. When Rick Adelman became Sacramento's head coach before the 1998–1999 season, Carril helped Adelman install the Princeton offense and oversaw the Kings' development into one of the NBA's best, most talented, and most potent offensive teams. With the help of such stars as Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Doug Christie, and Mike Bibby, (2001–2006), Carril showed that the Princeton offense could function in the NBA. In 2007 he volunteered as a coach to the Washington Wizards.[7] He rejoined the Kings as an assistant for the 2009 season.


His career collegiate coaching record, including one season at Lehigh, was 525–273. He was enshrined in both the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997, following his retirement from Princeton.

Personal life

Carril is married to Dolores L. ("Dilly") Halteman. They have a daughter, Lisa, and a son, Peter.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Lehigh Engineers (Independent) (1966–1967)
1966–67 Lehigh 11–12
Princeton Tigers (Ivy League) (1967–1996)
1967–68 Princeton 20–6 12–2 T-1st
1968–69 Princeton 19–7 14–0 1st NCAA 1st Round
1969–70 Princeton 16–9 9–5 3rd
1970–71 Princeton 14–11 9–5 T-3rd
1971–72 Princeton 20–7 12–2 2nd NIT Quarterfinals
1972–73 Princeton 16–9 11–3 2nd
1973–74 Princeton 16–10 11–3 T-2nd
1974–75 Princeton 22–8 12–2 2nd NIT Championship
1975–76 Princeton 22–5 14–0 1st NCAA 1st Round
1976–77 Princeton 21–5 13–1 1st NCAA 1st Round
1977–78 Princeton 17–9 11–3 T-2nd
1978–79 Princeton 14–12 7–7 3rd
1979–80 Princeton 15–15 11–3 T-1st Lost in Ivy League Playoff
1980–81 Princeton 18–10 13–1 T-1st NCAA 1st Round
1981–82 Princeton 13–13 9–5 T-2nd
1982–83 Princeton 20–9 12–2 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1983–84 Princeton 18–10 10–4 1st NCAA 1st Round
1984–85 Princeton 11–15 7–7 T-4th
1985–86 Princeton 13–13 7–7 T-4th
1986–87 Princeton 16–9 9–5 T-2nd
1987–88 Princeton 17–9 9–5 3rd
1988–89 Princeton 19–8 11–3 1st NCAA 1st Round
1989–90 Princeton 20–7 11–3 1st NCAA 1st Round
1990–91 Princeton 24–3 14–0 1st NCAA 1st Round
1991–92 Princeton 22–6 12–2 1st NCAA 1st Round
1992–93 Princeton 15–11 7–7 4th
1993–94 Princeton 18–8 11–3 2nd
1994–95 Princeton 16–10 10–4 T-2nd
1995–96 Princeton 22–7 12–2 T-1st NCAA 2nd Round
Princeton: 514–261 310–96
Total: 525–273

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also


  1. Retrieved 2012-02-19
  2. "Welcome Home, Coach Carril". Princeton University. January 5, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  3. O'Rourke, Larry (March 9, 2000). "The Long Road Pete Carril Has Traveled: The Highways And By-ways Of The Lehigh Valley And The Nation In His Long Journey To The Basketball Hall Of Fame.". Morning Call. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  5. "Carril Is Yoda to Notion of Perpetual Motion". New York Times. March 30, 2007.
  6. Sactown Royalty :: A Sacramento Kings Blog


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