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A man of many letters

 
First published: Friday, February 15, 2008

 
(Page 3 of 4)

"I have now been officiating at the Division I level for over 20 years and have enjoyed considerable success, as I have been fortunate to officiate in six Final Fours during my career. I have had the opportunity to meet and referee for many fine coaches and outstanding individuals, many of whom are presently members of the Basketball Hall of Fame. In my opinion, none of those individuals has better credentials for nomination and admission to the Basketball Hall of Fame than Richard 'Doc' Sauers." -- John Cahill, NCAA basketball referee

"In 41 seasons, he had only one year with a losing record. I was a member of the 1995-96 team that went 12-15. At first glance, it might appear this year was a disappointing season for coach Sauers. However, I would argue that reaching 12 wins that year was one of the most impressive coaching feats in school history. That was the first year that UAlbany moved from Division III to Division II. We also lost our starting and backup point guards for the entire season due to injuries. We competed against full-scholarship D-II teams with a point-guard-less D-III roster. ... His second season in Division II, he led us to a 17-10 record. It takes some programs a decade or two to make that jump, it took Doc one year."

-- Darrin Jahnel, one of Sauers' former players

"I consider Dick to be the finest small-college coach that I faced in the four years that I coached Division III basketball. His team set the standard for offensive and defensive execution, reflecting his competitive intensity, his commitment to smart and intelligent play, and his consummate effectiveness as a teacher/coach.

"When I left Union in 1973 to become the assistant coach at Princeton, I took with me many of the basketball tactics that Dick implemented at Albany. Coach Pete Carril readily accepted those tactics. ... It is fair to say that the renowned Princeton basketball system reflects some of Doc Sauers' thinking. ...

"I feel proud to submit this unqualified endorsement of Dick Sauers to be inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Dick's inclusion will enhance the integrity and prestige of an institution whose responsibility is to recognize outstanding achievement, regardless of the competitive division."

-- Gary Walters, Princeton athletics director and former Union College coach

"After I finished my first year at Siena College, I gave considerable thought to transferring to the University at Albany. I met a few times with Doc to talk things over and in the end he told me that he thought it would be in my best interest from a personal and athletic point of view to stay at Siena. At the time he told me that he would probably regret those words and over the next few years we were one of the few teams to beat Doc's team on a regular basis. The man reeked of honesty, integrity and caring."

-- Dan Cahill, former NCAA basketball official

"As an assistant it was truly an eye-opening experience to work with 'Coach' on a daily basis. I believed I worked extremely hard during my five years as his assistant, but I never outworked him."

-- James Jones, Yale basketball coach, who played for and coached under Sauers

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