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Marquette Hires Crean As Coach

March 31, 1999

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Marquette hired Michigan State assistant Tom Crean as men’s basketball coach Tuesday, choosing a candidate who was an early focus of the selection committee seeking a successor to Mike Deane.

``He’s on everybody’s radar screen,″ athletic director Bill Cords said.

The Rev. Robert A. Wild, Marquette president, said Crean, 32, possesses everything the university was looking for, including ``great recruiting ability, knowledge of the Midwest, successful coaching experience, a tremendous work ethic.″

Deane was fired after the Golden Eagles’ season ended with a first-round loss in the Conference USA tournament. Cords said at the time Marquette’s competitiveness had ``gradually eroded″ during Deane’s five-year tenure, even though he led the team to postseason play the previous four years. His record at Marquette was 100-55.

Cords declined to say what qualities Crean brings that Deane didn’t have.

``I’m not going to compare. I don’t think that’s fair to anyone,″ Cords said. ``He’s from a program that set a very high level.″

Crean spent the last four seasons as an assistant with the Spartans and has been associate head coach the last two. Michigan State lost to Duke in the NCAA tournament semifinals.

``We’ve always believed if you’ve been to that level, you have vision,″ Cords said.

Crean said he brings enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard to his first head coaching job.

``I think you’re going to see a selfless team,″ he said. ``It’s almost the same as unselfishness but it takes it to another level, totally committed to your teammates, totally committed to the person next to you.

``We’re going to create a bond here that when we walk into the Bradley Center, when we walk into opposing arenas, that we know the bond can’t be broken,″ Crean said.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Crean has ``multidimensional strengths,″ including his recruiting ability. Crean also was recruiting coordinator for Michigan State.

He recruited and developed Mateen Cleaves, two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and a member of this season’s Associated Press All-America team.

Crean said recruiting for Marquette will start at home, a method he called the ``inside out theory.″

He inherits one signed recruit, Krunti Hester of Indianapolis. He also has one scholarship available when the spring signing period begins April 7 and could have more if some players choose to transfer.

A native of Mount Pleasant, Mich., Crean was an assistant at Alma College, Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh before going to Michigan State.

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