Van Breda Kolff's influence on college hoops immeasurable

Michaelangleo's art professor died Thursday. That's how I look it. The man who was most responsible for the Hall of Fame coaching career of Pete Carril was Carril's college coach, Butch van Breda Kolff, who died at the age of 84. While at Lafayette University, van Breda Kolff mentored Carril, who later succeeded him as the coach at Princeton.

I coached my first game as a head coach against Butch van Breda Kolff. In 1992, as the new head coach at Manhattan College, I opened my career at home against Hofstra University. It was not lost on me that their coach was one of basketball's legendary coaches. As the teams were warming up before the game, I was sweating bullets in our home locker room thinking that if coaching experience -- he had more than a thousand NBA, ABA and college games on me -- had anything to do with the outcome of the game, I was in big trouble.