ST. LOUIS -- Last month, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun became
the first college basketball coaches with 700 wins to face each
other. On Monday, they shared the stage again, proudly holding
jerseys signifying their election to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
"This is, beyond my wife and children, the most special day in
my life," Calhoun said. "When I was told the news, it was
Coach and broadcaster Hubie Brown, Brazilian women's star
Hortencia Marcari and LSU coach Sue Gunter also were voted into the
Hall. The new members will be enshrined Sept. 8-10 in Springfield,
The headliners, though, were a pair of Big East Conference
coaches who have seemingly been in lockstep. Boeheim won his first
NCAA title in 2003, and Calhoun won his second the next year. The
coaches are tied for sixth on the career active victory list,
Boeheim entering his 30th season next year at 703-241 and Calhoun
heading into his 34th at 703-310.
Both also remain at the top of their game. Boeheim has twin
5-year-old daughters and he said he wanted to coach until they were
"a lot older."
"Ideally, you'd like to be done coaching when you get to the
Hall of Fame," Boeheim said. "It would be nice to say 'This is
it.' The reality is, we open with Cornell next year."
Last year, college coaches were shut out in the balloting. This
year, the seven former NBA players among the list of 16 finalists --
Joe Dumars, Dennis Johnson, Adrian Dantley, Dominique Wilkins,
Bernard King, Maurice Cheeks and Chet Walker -- ended up on the
"This class represents how difficult it is to get enshrined,"
said Russ Granik, deputy commissioner of the NBA. "Our Hall is
probably unique in sports in that it represents all the levels of
Boeheim said neither he nor Calhoun would have made it were it
not for the rise in the 1980s of the Big East. He said Dave Gavitt,
the conference's first commissioner, deserves much of the credit.
"The bottom line is if it weren't for Dave Gavitt, none of us
would be in the Hall of Fame," Boeheim said. "He had a vision to
put this thing together. We went from a nice little regional
program to the national scene in one year."
Brown was elected under the category of contributor for his
impact on the game as a coach, clinician, broadcaster and
He retired as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies this season after
being voted the NBA's coach of the year in 2004. He won the same
award in 1978 with Atlanta. He won an American Basketball
Association title with the Kentucky Colonels in 1975 and eight
former assistants have gone on to become NBA head coaches. He also
has hosted hundreds of clinics worldwide.
"I don't think you ever wake up when you're doing a job
thinking of being in the Hall of Fame," Brown said. "It's a great
time for my family and myself and I'd like to thank all of the
people that rewarded us."
Gunter ranks third among women's basketball coaches with 708
victories. Her LSU squad went to the Final Four in her last season
before she stepped down as coach in 2004 while battling emphysema,
an illness that prevented her from attending the ceremony. She was
to coach the U.S. women's team at the 1980 Olympics, but the United
States boycotted the games.
Hortencia -- known by her first name like many Brazilian athletes
-- averaged 27.6 points while leading Brazil to the 1994 women's
world championship. She also helped her country win the silver
medal in the 1996 Olympics.
Also at the ceremony, Raymond Felton of NCAA finalist North
Carolina was named the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard winner.