Pete Newell is considered one of the finest basketball minds in the sport’s history.
His death in 2008 spawned tributes from around the country, including legendary UCLA coach John Wooden and Bob Knight, who considered Newell his mentor. Newell, Knight, and Dean Smith are the only men to coach championships at the Olympics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), and of the three, only Newell won the NIT at a time when it was considered the nation’s most prestigious tournament.
He had a fiercely competitive rivalry with Wooden and won his last eight meetings against Wooden’s UCLA teams before retiring in 1960. Although he retired for health reasons, he continued to teach the game, notably at the famed Big Man’s Camp, for the rest of his life.
Based on hundreds of interviews of veterans of the game, A Good Man: The Pete Newell Story is Bruce Jenkins’s complete biography of Pete Newell.