In 1990, the Jackets extended their school-record number of consecutive winning seasons to eight. Also, five of the eight Tech teams that have posted 20-win seasons have been led by Cremins, who is two wins shy of his 200th Tech victory and his 300th career victory.
Under Cremins, Tech has produced six all-Americans, 13 all-ACC players and six ACC Rookie of the Year picks. Last year, Kenny Anderson became the second consensus first-team all-American in Tech history, along with Roger Kaiser in 1961. Anderson was also a unanimous all-ACC first-team selection.
Seven of Cremins' former players are now playing in the National Basketball Association, including four first-round draft choices in Dennis Scott (Orlando), John Salley (Detroit), Tom Hammonds (Washington), and Anderson (New Jersey). A Tech player has been drafted in the third round or higher in each of the past seven years.
Cremins' success and reputation has extended beyond the borders of the U.S. In 1986, he assisted Arizona's Lute Olsen in coaching the United States World Games team to its first gold medal ever. And during the summer of 1989, he coached a U.S. squad to qualification for the 1990 World Games Championships.
Cremins has been chosen by his peers of Division I head coaches as the top recruiter in the nation.
In 1989-90, Cremins became the second-winningest basketball coach in Tech history, passing Roy Mundorf to trail the highly respected John "Whack" Hyder who compiled 292 victories during a 22 year career. Cremins' 198 wins in his 10 years on the Flats averages 19.8 victories a season.
The 1989-90 team solidified Cremins' reputation as one of America's best coaches as the Jackets compiled a 28-7 record, the most wins in Tech's history, en route to its sixth straight NCAA Tournament. For his efforts, Cremins was named as the national Coach of the Year by the Naismith Awards program. It marked the second time in his 15-year career that Cremins had won national coaching honors.
Tech also finished the year with its highest national ranking ever, third in the USA Today/CNN poll and second in The Sporting News poll after losing to eventual champion UNLV in the national semifinals.
That Yellow Jacket edition, led by the "Lethal Weapon 3" combination of Brian Oliver, Scott and Anderson, roared off to a 10-0 start. The Jackets were 13-0 in non-conference play and finished 8-6 in the tough ACC, tied for third place.
But the Jackets stuck a feather in their cap by opening the 1990s as ACC champions. Cremins directed the Jackets to wins over N.C. State, Duke and Virginia to win the second league crown in Tech history, following the '85 championship.
It took the 44-year-old, silver-topped Cremins less than 48 months to guide Tech from a disastrous 4-23 record and a winless ACC chart, to the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference and a berth in the Final Eight in the 1985 NCAA Tournament.
Cremins burst onto the national scene by guiding Tech in that spectacular 1985 campaign in which the Yellow Jackets shattered records, tradition and precedent. That year, Tech captured its first ACC Tournament Championship and a share of first place in the regular season while recording the most wins (27-8) in school history.
Never before in the ACC had a non-North Carolina team won both the regular season title and the tournament championship. Not since 1974 had a team defeated national power North Carolina three times in a single season, and never in its history had the Tar Heels been beaten thrice by a school outside the state of North Carolina.
Six of his recruits--Mark Price in 1983, Bruce Dalrymple in 1984, Duane Ferrell in 1985, Tom Hammonds in 1986, Dennis Scott in 1988 and Kenny Anderson in 1990 captured ACC Rookie-of-the-Year awards--more than any ACC school.
Cremins was born on July 4,1947 in New York's Bronx, where he was once called "The Basketball Kid of Southern Boulevard." He became a basketball standout under the legendary coach Frank McGuire at South Carolina, where he earned his bachelor's degree in marketing and his master's in guidance and counseling. Cremins knows first-hand what it takes to win in the pressure-packed ACC.
He is the only current conference coach to have played and coached in ACC championship finals.
A three-year starter for USC at point guard, Cremins led the Gamecocks to one of their most successful seasons. USC was 25-3 (14-0 in ACC) during his 196970 senior season.
After graduation, Cremins spent one year playing professional basketball in Ecuador before beginning his collegiate coaching, career in 1971 at Point Park College in Pittsburgh. He returned to his alma mater for a two-year stint as an assistant coach to McGuire in 1972.
On his 27th birthday, he married Carolyn, who had two daughters from a previous marriage. Their family now includes Liz, 26; Suzie, 23; and Bobby III, 14. Two days after the wedding, Cremins and family moved to Appalachian State, where he became the youngest Division I head coach in the NCAA.
Cremins assumed the head coaching position at Georgia Tech before the 1981-82 season, at a time when many thought that the Ramblin' Wreck could never compete equally with its ACC neighbors.
Although an excellent bench tactician and recruiter, Cremins' greatest strength is his relationship with his players. He is genuinely concerned with their overall development in line with Tech's "Total Person Concept."
This article is excerpted from the Georgia Tech Basketball 1991-92 Pre-Season Prospectus, prepared by the Sports Information Office of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association.
|1984-85||27-8||9-5, T1st||ACC Champion;
NCAA Final 8
|1985-86||27-7||11-3, 2nd||NCAA Final 16|
|1987-88||22-10||8-6, 4th||NCAA Final 32|
|1989-90||28-7||8-6, T3rd||ACC Champion;
NCAA Final 4
|1990-91||17-13||6-8, T5th||NCAA Final 32|