|If asked to name Hall of Fame
basketball coaches, perhaps Red Auerbach and Bob Knight spring to
mind. John Wooden and Adolph Rupp. Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith.
Keith Marder thinks of retired UAlbany coaching legend Richard
"Doc" Sauers, too. Marder isn't the only one, which is why he
started campaigns to gain Sauers induction into the Basketball Hall
of Fame as well as the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Without telling Sauers, Marder
solicited testimonial letters from more than 50 college basketball
coaches, sportswriters, referees and former UAlbany players. Marder
assembled game film, stats and records, feature stories and the book
Sauers wrote in 1973. He submitted the supporting materials with
Every Basketball Hall of Fame application requires signatures
from two Hall of Famers.
Jim Boeheim and Pete Carril signed off on Doc.
Marder, who covered Sauers' teams when he was a sportswriter at
the Times Union and the sports editor at the Albany Student Press,
knows the Basketball Hall of Fame, which announces its finalists for
the 2008 class today, is a long shot. The list of the Hall's college
coaches who didn't coach Division I teams for most of their career
Herb Magee, Division II's career wins leader, hasn't been
inducted. Neither has Jim Phelan, Don Meyer or Jerry Johnson.
They're among the winningest coaches of all time despite not
coaching in the big time.
If they must pay their way in Springfield, Doc might have to as
"In my heart of hearts, I think Doc's deserving," said Marder,
Doc's candidacy is rooted in achievement more than sentiment.
When he retired he was one of only 11 NCAA coaches to win at
least 700 games in his career. He had a .680 winning percentage and
didn't have a losing record for 39 consecutive seasons despite never
coaching a first-team All-American. He graduated nearly every player
in his 41-year career; Doc says he can count on one hand his varsity
players who didn't graduate.
Carril incorporated a shuffle cut from Doc's offense into
Carril's revered Princeton offense. The NCAA instituted the shot
clock and 3-point shot during Doc's tenure on its national rules
committee. Because Doc ran a ball-control offense, the changes
weren't good for his team, Doc said at the time.
But they were good for the game, so he championed them.
Some coaches get whistled for a half-dozen technical fouls in a
Doc had a half-dozen technical fouls called on him in his
Marder hopes Doc will gain basketball's highest honors.
It's not the only reason he did this for Doc, though.
"It's more to show him that he touched so many people," said
Marder, who shared the testimonials with Doc.
Here are some excerpts: