Cazzie Russell to be honored

Submitted by m1817 on March 24th, 2016 at 11:14 AM

U of M basketball great, Cazzie Russell, will be honored at the 20th Annual Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast.

It is being held in conjunction with the Final Four and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Convention in Houston on the weekend of April 2 - 4.

2016 Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award Winner Cazzie Russell


Russell grew up in Chicago and was the Chicago Sun-Times Boy’s High School Player of the Year in 1962. He went on to earn All-America honors at the University of Michigan while leading them to three consecutive Big Ten championships and two Final Four appearances, losing to defending National Champion UCLA under John Wooden. In 1966 he was named College Basketball Player of the Year, averaging 30 points a game. Russell was the first player taken in the 1966 draft by the New York Knicks and had a 12-year career in the NBA where he won the NBA championship in 1970 with the Knicks and was named an all-star in 1972 with the Golden State Warriors. He went on to coach in the CBA and most recently at the Savannah College of Art and Design for 13 seasons. He is currently an associate pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.



March 24th, 2016 at 11:58 AM ^

Such a missed opportunity that he was about to be our HC but, in one of a long list of horrible decisions by Goss, he was passed over in favor of Ellerbe for the dumbest of dumbest reasons ever. It was a month from the season starting and Goss thought it was against Michigan morals to steal a coach from his current gig and make him break promises to the other young men on the team he'd be leaving -- but Russell was coaching the CBA, so I hardly see the issue there. What a sad, sad moment in UM history.

As bad as DB was, he was lightyears better than Goss.

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March 24th, 2016 at 12:22 PM ^

Cazzie was eliminated from consideration immediateley and it had nothing to do with what you claim to be the reason. A quick google check should show you Cazzie was bypassed for the simple reason he  had failed to gain a Bachelor's Degree, i.e., he was not a college grad, and that, and for no other reason was he eliminated for consideration. Believe me, if ever there were a time UM would have made an exception, that would have been the time.

I take no issue with this if Michigan requires their head coaches to be college grads and inasmuch as it was accepted as such with no negative feedback, I considered this to be understood and accepted as such. Your explanation is the first I've seen at odds with the original reason given.

M and M Boys

March 24th, 2016 at 12:04 PM ^

 HE AWESOME!, AWESOME!, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greatest game ever was at Cobo Hall when Princeton's phenom Bill Bradley fouled out and Cazzie brought Michigan back from 12 down to hit a shot at the buzzer!

FINAL FOUR that year (1965)  UCLA, Princeton, Wichita State and Michigan.


March 24th, 2016 at 4:04 PM ^

Michigan's and Cazzie's comeback against Princeton and Bradley occurred at Madison Square Garden on 12-31-64.

I remember my father stopping the car on the side of a snow-covered road to listen to the end of the game on the radio as we were starting to lose reception.

You may be thinking of Cazzie's 30 foot shot at the buzzer to beat Dave Stallworth and then #1 Wichita State at Cobo earlier in the season.…

For a long time, that was the most exciting game I saw in person.

Now I've dated myself.


March 24th, 2016 at 12:57 PM ^

Even though he didn't get his degree, he was a student teacher at Tappan when I went there.  He hit 100 in a row from the FT line one day after school with the gym half full by the time he finished.  A bet with a PE teacher may or may not have been involved.

His dedication speech for Crisler Arena was great, too.  

Indiana Blue

March 24th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

getting a ticket toYost Fieldhouse was tough (at least for a 9 year old kid).  My dad would take me to few games each season, but the atmosphere of college basketball at Yost was so cool for a kid to see.  They had he raised floor and the basket "standards" were held from the ceiling and the support beam seemed like it was 20 feet long ! It was fucking awesome !   During warmups the crowd would count off the dunks in a row ... until some 6'2" guard was up and he'd do a lyup and the crowd would moan and laugh.  Some of the most precious memories of my youth !

Go Blue!



March 24th, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

the atmosphere at Crisler approach Yost.  When the crowd got going, the wooden bleachers literally bounced up and down and the noise was deafening.

There were no reserved seats for students and many camped overnight in January to get tickets. They were like hens' teeth.  I've experienced fandom frenzy may times over the years, but Yost was the most intense ever!