Pete Carril, who coached the Princeton Tigers men’s basketball team for 29 years, died Monday at age 92, according to a statement from the Carril family released through Princeton Athletics.
“The Carril family is sad to report that Coach Peter J. Carril passed away peacefully this morning,” the family statement read. “We kindly ask that you please respect our privacy at this time as we process our loss and handle necessary arrangements. More information will be forthcoming in the following days.”
Carril pioneered the so-called “Princeton offense,” an unselfish, pass-heavy style which – despite Ivy League policy of not awarding athletic scholarships – leveled the playing field against teams that were often bigger and more athletic.
Between 1967 and 1996, Carril led Princeton to 514 wins, 13 Ivy League championships, 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament and the 1975 NIT Championship.
“Princeton University mourns the loss of Pete Carril, longtime Princeton men’s basketball coach who had an incredible impact on the program, the sport and this University,” Princeton said on Twitter.
Carril’s biggest triumph for Princeton came in 1996, when he led his 13th-seeded Tigers to a win over heavily favored UCLA. After the epic win, a beaming Carril told CBS, “We just knocked off a giant!”
Carril left Princeton after that Cinderella season and spent more than 10 years as an assistant coach in the NBA, primarily with the Sacramento Kings.
Carril was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.