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Tom Crean

ESPN College Basketball Analyst, Former College Basketball Head Coach

About the speaker

ESPN college basketball analyst Tom Crean spent 22 seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Marquette University, Indiana University, and the University of Georgia. His many accolades include leading Marquette to the 2003 NCAA Final Four, multiple coach of the year award... More

ESPN college basketball analyst Tom Crean spent 22 seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Marquette University, Indiana University, and the University of Georgia. His many accolades include leading Marquette to the 2003 NCAA Final Four, multiple coach of the year award honors, and regularly leading his teams to national rankings and postseason bids.

Crean was named Georgia basketball’s 22nd head coach on March 16, 2018. Over the course of his four seasons, Crean’s offensive-minded concepts put the Bulldogs on a scoring pace seldom seen in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia reached the 90-point plateau 15 times in Crean’s first 90 games. During his tenure, Crean coached standout player Anthony Edwards, who won SEC Freshman of the Year honors before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Through his last season at Georgia, Crean holds a .568 winning percentage with an overall record of 403-306.

In nine seasons at Indiana from 2008-17, Crean compiled a 166-135 record. When he initially arrived in Bloomington, he inherited a program with only one returning player, a pending NCAA probation and scholarship restrictions due to poor academic performance. Under Crean, IU received an NCAA Public Recognition Award in each of his last three years and had a perfect four-year mark of 1,000. Indiana also won outright Big Ten titles in 2013 and 2016 and was ranked in each of those six seasons, including 11 weeks at No. 1 in 2012-2013. He was named National Coach of the Year in 2012 by ESPN and voted Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016, the same season he was a finalist for Naismith National Coach of the Year honors. Three Hoosiers earned All-America accolades under Crean.

Crean served as head coach at Marquette from 1999-2008, leading the program to the 2003 Final Four and four more NCAA bids. In his nine years with the Golden Eagles, Crean’s teams earned five NCAA Tournament bids, one more than the previous four Marquette coaches had in the 16 years prior to his arrival. Marquette also participated in three NITs, reaching the 2004 quarterfinals, and obtained AP top-25 rankings during six of Crean’s last seven seasons in Milwaukee. He was named National Coach of the Year in 2002 and Conference USA Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2003. His star pupil, Dwyane Wade, earned C-USA Player of the Year honors in 2003 as well. Three Golden Eagles earned All-America accolades.

While at Marquette and Indiana, Crean’s teams reached postseason play during 13 campaigns, with nine NCAA appearances, including four Sweet 16s and a Final Four, and four NIT bids. Thirteen of his players at MU and IU went on to play in the NBA, including nine who were on opening day rosters for the 2018-2019 season.

Crean’s winning ways were well established before he became a head coach. From 1989-1999, Crean was a member of the staffs at Michigan State, Western Kentucky, and Pittsburgh. Those 10 teams combined to win four regular-season and two conference tournament titles. They also reached postseason play eight times (five NCAAs and three NITs). The season before assuming the reins at Marquette, Crean helped Michigan State reach the 1999 Final Four.

A native of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Crean earned his bachelor’s in parks and recreation with a minor in psychology from Central Michigan in 1989. While at CMU, Crean coached at Alma College and Mount Pleasant. Crean received CMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in September 2014. He was honored at the 2014 Dick Vitale Gala for his outstanding contributions in support of the V Foundation.

While on the staff at Western Kentucky, Crean met and married the former Joani Harbaugh. They now reside in Florida.

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