(Page 2 of 4) |
two vivid memories of my years playing for Doc. The first was during
my freshman year when he made the team run sprints at the beginning
of a practice. ... We had no idea what was going on because this
rarely happened. Not to mention the fact that we were winning games.
Then he finally started yelling, 'The custodians in this building
are my friends, not your personal servants. The next time you leave
that locker room a mess, we will run for an entire week.' Obviously,
it was a simple opportunity for him to teach his players about
respect for others. It's interesting that I don't recall running
sprints for reasons related to our basketball performance.
"The next should serve as a model for every college coach in the
country, regardless of the sport. During my recruiting visit, Doc
wouldn't discuss the possibility of financial aid because he didn't
have anything to offer. Albany was Division III at the time, so an
athletic scholarship was not available. He simply promised that I
would see playing time and that I would be his first priority in the
future if scholarship dollars arose. Albany moved to Division II as
I entered into my sophomore year. From what I understand, there were
limited funds to support scholarships. Although we had players that
might have been more deserving, one of the assistant coaches
informed me that I would be receiving a full scholarship -- (even
though) I tore my ACL during the summer following my freshman year.
... That scholarship was extremely valuable and Doc used it on a kid
who wouldn't be playing one minute the following season. Our prior
discussions were not in writing and Doc was not obligated to do what
he did for me. How many other coaches would make that decision?
Notice that Doc did not tell me himself and make a big production of
how wonderful he was. It was about his character. He made a
commitment and kept it."
-- Robert Markel, one of Sauers' former players
"He is a tremendous coach in the game of basketball. He is a man
of great integrity, is unbelievably competitive, and one of the
hardest-working people in our profession. No one is more deserving
of honor as one of the greatest all-time coaches than Richard 'Doc'
-- Basketball Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim
"In my 26 years of working as a professional sportswriter I have
covered and encountered coaches with undeniable Hall of Fame
credentials, from Rick Pitino to Jim Calhoun in college basketball
to Pat Riley in the National Basketball Association to Joe Torre in
Major League Baseball to Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick in the
National Football League. No coach, to this day, has ever made a
more meaningful impression on me as far as watching an event,
leaving an event and thinking to myself, 'That guy did one heck of a
job coaching his team tonight.' ... Tall or short, swift or slow,
his teams were prepared and far more often won games not only with
skill but with precision and an ability to outthink the opponent
when it mattered most.
"The level of competition is irrelevant; Dick Sauers coached
Division III basketball on a level playing field and was wildly
successful in the essence of coaching. He deserves the highest
honors offered by his profession."
-- Paul Schwartz, New York Post sportswriter, who covered Sauers'
teams for the Times Union and Albany Student Press