The Weekly Blog: 3/21/07

NOTE: This post was originally published at princetonalumniweekly.blogspot.com/

Coaching change for men’s basketball
After posting two losing seasons in three years as Princeton’s head coach, Joe Scott ’87 has decided to leave the Tigers to become the men’s basketball coach at the University of Denver, according to news reports from the Associated Press and The Times of Trenton. Scott “gave a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to Princeton basketball,” athletics director Gary Walters ’67 said in a statement to the AP. “Unfortunately, it might not have worked out the way he had hoped. We wish him the best at Denver.”

Scott, who worked as an assistant coach at Princeton under Pete Carril and Bill Carmody, got his first big break in college coaching in Colorado, where he led a remarkable turnaround at the Air Force Academy. In 2003-04, his Falcons won 22 games (then a school record) and reached the NCAA Tournament. But his time at Princeton was marked by a series of low moments, including a December 2005 game against Monmouth in which the Tigers managed to score just 22 points; a loss to Division-III Carnegie Mellon, also in December 2005; and a last-place finish in the Ivy League in 2007. His teams were 38-45 in three seasons.

Last blast of winter?

Bill Pierce, left, and Brian Pinney of the University grounds and building maintenance department shovel snow March 17 from the steps of Blair Arch after a late-winter storm dumped a mix of snow and sleet on the campus.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski
Athletes break for warmer climes, fencers head to nationals
Baseball in North Carolina, men’s golf in Arizona, softball and women’s golf in Florida, and women’s and men’s tennis and women’s water polo in California. It can only mean one thing: Princeton’s spring break has arrived.

But while the spring-season Tigers start their schedules in warm sunshine this week, a handful of winter-season competitors will wrap up their year in New Jersey, not far from campus. Seven fencers will compete at the NCAA Championships at Drew University in Madison, N.J., March 22-25. Sara Jew-Lim ’07 and Jocelyn Svengsouk ’10 will fence in the women’s foil and two-time All-American Erin McGarry ’07 and Jasjit Bhinder ’09 will compete in the women’s epee. Three Princeton men qualified for the national meet as well: Alejandro Bras ’07 (foil), Tommi Hurme ’08 (epee), and Thomas Abend ’10 (sabre).

 
Alumni in the news
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Robin Givhan ’86 of The Washington Post will receive the 2007 Eugenia Sheppard Award for journalism from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Women’s Wear Daily reported March 12. … Stephen Feinberg ’82’s company Cerberus was included in Fortune’s list of America’s top-10 private equity firms March 5. The magazine called Feinberg, Cerberus’ founder and principal, an “anti-elitist,” making note of his bare-bones office and his unpretentious mode of transportation, a Chevy pickup truck. … Gary Walters ’67, chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee, was in the spotlight when the committee announced the NCAA Tournament’s field of 65 teams March 11. This year included its share of perceived snubs, and Walters was asked at a press conference whether expanding the field might remedy the situation in future years. “I’m personally convinced that if we expanded the field, you would still have the same kind of issues that arise with regard to bubble teams who are either in or out,” he said. “People that are on this committee are committed to doing the best possible job they can. It’s a labor of love.” … March 15 marked the passing of Bowie Kuhn ’47, who served as commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1984. He was 80. Kuhn led the national pastime during a period of remarkable growth and fought, unsuccessfully, the rise of free agency. In Kuhn’s obituary, The New York Times wrote that he “viewed himself as a lifelong fan determined to uphold the integrity of baseball, promote competitive balance and enhance the game’s marketing, all the while bemoaning sharply rising salaries that he claimed imperiled the sport’s financial viability.”

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