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Tom Crean

Tom Crean coached Marquette from 1999-2008. Crean was credited for bringing Dwyane Wade to Marquette, who brought the team to a Final Four appearance in 2003.

Crean signed a contract in 2006 that made him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball at $1.6m/year for 10 years.

On April 1st, 2008, word leaked that Crean had taken the head coaching job at Indiana University at a salary of $2.3m/year.

Shortly after the announcement that he had taken the job, word surfaced that he had not informed the president of the Marquette University, Fr. Robert Wild until nearly 7 hours after the report of his hiring…he called Fr. Wild at midnight to discuss the matter. In addition, his players heard the news not from the coach that brought them to Milwaukee, but from ESPN.

In the days after his departure, he pursued several Marquette recruits, including Nick Williams, who had signed a letter of intent with MU and Erik Williams, who rebuffed Crean's advances and re-affirmed his verbal commitment to the Warriors.

A blog entry on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website indicated how unhappy Father Wild was with the way Crean abandoned his players and the university that had been so good to him and his family.


On March 30, 1999, Crean was named head coach at Marquette University, beating out a number of candidates, including Duke University assistant coach Quin Snyder, Butler University head coach Barry Collier, and former University of Iowa coach Tom Davis. Marquette had been looking for a young coach and a successful recruiter from a successful program after firing Mike Deane on March 5. The Rev. Robert A. Wild, Marquette president, said Crean possessed everything the university was looking for, including “great recruiting ability, knowledge of the Midwest, successful coaching experience, a tremendous work ethic.” No players decided to transfer as a result of the coaching change. According to Crean, “Once Marquette became available, that's where my sights were. I had unbelievable respect for the tradition and the name. When I thought of Marquette, I thought of a true basketball school and to me that had a lot to do with it.”

Crean immediately made a number of changes at Marquette, creating a new team image by increasing the significance of the team's media day and instituting a “Midnight Madness” event commonly held by schools on the night teams are allowed to begin practice. Crean's first recruiting class was considered by experts to be among the top twenty in the country, Marquette's first in a long time.


Year Position Overall Record Conference Record Accomplishments
2007-08 Marquette, Head Coach 25-10 11-7 Beat UW, ND twice, 1 Win NCAA
2006-07 Marquette, Head Coach 24-10 10-6 CBE (formerly Guardians Classic) Champion
2005-06 Marquette, Head Coach 20-11 10-6 Great Alaska Shootout Champion; 4th place BIG EAST; NCAA Tournament
2004-05 Marquette, Head Coach 19-12 7-9 NIT First Round
2003-04 Marquette, Head Coach 19-12 8-8 NIT Quarterfinals
2002-03 Marquette, Head Coach 27-6 14-2 C-USA Regular Season Champion; NCAA Tournament; Final Four
2001-02 Marquette, Head Coach 26-7 13-3 Great Alaska Shootout Champion; 2nd place C-USA American Division; NCAA Tournament
2000-01 Marquette, Head Coach 15-14 9-7 3rd place C-USA American Division
1999-2000 Marquette, Head Coach 15-14 8-8 4th place C-USA American Division; NIT
1998-99 Michigan State, Associate Head Coach 33-5 - Big Ten Regular Season Champion; Big Ten Conference Champion; NCAA Tournament; Final Four
1997-98 Michigan State, Associate Head Coach 22-8 - Big Ten Regular Season Champion; NCAA Tournament; Sweet 16
1996-97 Michigan State, Assistant Coach 17-12 - NIT
1995-96 Michigan State, Assistant Coach 16-16 - NIT
1994-95 Pittsburgh, Assistant Coach 10-18 - -
1993-94 Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach 20-11 - NCAA Tournament
1992-93 Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach 26-6 - Sun Belt Tournament Champion; NCAA Tournament; Sweet 16
1991-92 Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach 21-1 - NIT
1990-91 Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach 14-14 - -
1989-90 Michigan State, Graduate Assistant 28-6 - Big Ten Champion; NCAA Tournament; Sweet 16

Marquette Post-Season Records

Year Record Conference Tournament Result NCAA/NIT Result
2007-08 3-2BET:#6 Seed: Beat SHU, ND, Lost to Pitt NCAA #6 Seed: beat #11 UK, Lost to #3 Stanford in OT
2006-07 1-2BET:#6 Seed: Beat SJU, Lost to Pitt NCAA #8 Seed: Lost to #9 MSU in 1st round of NCAAs
2005-06 0-2BET:#4 Seed: First Round Bye. Lost to Georgetown in BET. NCAA #7 Seed: Lost to #10 Alabama in 1st Round of NCAAs
2004-05 0-2CUSA:Lost to TCU in 1st Round NIT: Lost to WMU in 1st round at the Bradley Center
2003-04 2-2CUSA:Lost to TCU in 1st Round NIT: Beat Toledo, Boise State, lost @Iowa State
2002-03 4-2CUSA:Lost to UAB in 1st Round NCAA #3 Seed: Beat Holy Cross, #24 Missouri, #4 Pitt, #1 Kentucky, Lost to #6 Kansas in Final Four
2001-02 2-2CUSA:Beat UL and Houston, Lost to Cincy in CUSA Championship NCAA #7 Seed: Lost to #10 Tulsa
2000-01 1-1CUSA:Beat Tulane, Lost to Memphis None
1999-2000 0-2CUSA:Lost to Houston in 1st Round NIT: Lost to Xavier
Season Totals:913-17 CUSA/BET Totals 6-9 — 5 One and Dones NIT: 2-3 NCAA: 5-5 — 5 One and Dones


At Marquette Tom Crean Recruited:

  • Three All-Americans
  • Five Future NBA Players
  • Four 1,000 point career scorers
  • Two 500+ rebounders
  • Marquette's All-Time Leader in Free Throw Percentage
  • Marquette's All-Time Leader in Three-Point Field Goal Percentage
  • Marquette's All-Time Leader in Three-Point Field Goals Attempted
  • Marquette's All-Time Leader in Three-Point Field Goals Made
  • Marquette's All-Time Leader in Games Played



  • Ray Meyer Conference USA Coach of the Year
  • United States Basketball Writers Association District V Coach of the Year
  • National Association of Basketball Coaches District 11 Coach of the Year
  • Basketball Times Mideast Coach of the Year


  • 2003- Ray Meyer Conference USA Coach of the Year
  • United States Basketball Writers Association District V Coach of the Year
  • National Association of Basketball Coaches District 11 Coach of the Year
  • Coach Clair Bee Award Recipient

Previous Coaching Positions

Michigan State

Crean was hired by then head coach Jud Heathcote as a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State University during the 1989-1990 season, at the behest of then assistant coach Tom Izzo, whom Crean had befriended on the summer camp circuit.[5] He was also a scout for two years, earning the trust of recruiting guru Bob Gibbons. That season the Spartans won the Big Ten title and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Western Kentucky

Crean spent the next four seasons as an assistant coach under Ralph Willard at Western Kentucky University. In 1993, Western Kentucky beat Penny Hardaway and Memphis and then upset second-seeded Seton Hall to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16. Western Kentucky then lost to Florida State in overtime. When Willard left to become head coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 1994, Crean was considered for the position of Willard's replacement before the selection of Jacksonville University head coach Matt Kilcullen.


Crean followed Willard to Pittsburgh, serving as associate head coach for one year. While at Pittsburgh, Crean interviewed for the head coaching position at Murray State University, a job that went to UCLA assistant coach Mark Gottfried.

Michigan State

izzo_crean.jpgIn 1995 Crean rejoined Izzo, who had been named head coach at Michigan State. The two became such good friends that Crean lived in Izzo's house and Izzo was an usher in Crean's wedding. According to Crean at the time, “It was a great opportunity for me to go back home. We've been friends a long time. I don't think I would have left Ralph for anything else.” Crean served as recruiting coordinator at Michigan State, and was the leader behind a shift in the recruitment of Michigan players to Michigan State instead of the University of Michigan. He directed the staff's preparation for opponents, and wrote reports identifying several aspects on each of the opponent's players. He also handled the substitutions, called many of the plays, and formulated a play sheet that used a lot of pro sets on offense. While Crean was at Michigan State, the Spartans compiled an 88-41 record.

Coaching Tree

A number of Crean's assistants have become head coaches elsewhere.


Crean grew up in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where he played basketball for four years. According to Crean, “I didn't play a lot, but I knew I wanted to coach.” While a student at Central Michigan University, Crean was an assistant coach at Mount Pleasant High School for five seasons, and at Alma College. Crean received his bachelor's degree in parks and recreation from Central Michigan in 1989.

Crean is married to Joani Harbaugh, who he met through a mutual friend at a gym where she was working as an aerobics instructor. Harbaugh is the daughter of former Western Michigan University head football coach Jack Harbaugh and sister of former University of Michigan and NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Crean's brother-in-law, John Harbaugh, is the head football coach of the Baltimore Ravens. Crean and his wife have three children, Megan, Riley, and Ainsley.

men_s_basketball/tom_crean.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/07 16:49 (external edit)