Many former Purdue men’s basketball coach Gene Keady’s top players paid tribute to their former coach in this Zoom cast on April 24, 2023. Keady was selected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame during the Final Four weekend a few weeks back, becoming just the fourth individual associated with Boilermaker basketball to be named to the Naismith. Keady joins coach Piggy Lambert and two of Lambert’s best players, John Wooden and Charles “Stretch” Murphy.
On the Zoomcast, part of the Chariot Automotive Group’s Monday Night Memories series, was a virtual who’s who of the Keady Era: Brian Cardinal (1997-2000); Greg Eifert (1981-84), Troy Lewis (1985-88), Cuonzo Martin (1992-95), Brandon McKnight (2002-05). Steve Reid (1983-85), Glenn Robinson (1992-94), Steve Scheffler (1987-90), Everette Stephens (1985-88) and former assistant coach Bruce Weber (1981-98). Keady tuned in for much of the proceedings and enjoyed the stories and recollections of many who made his quarter-century run at Purdue remarkable.
Paying tribute to the former Purdue coach
“It was long overdue,” said 1994 National Player-of-the-Year forward Glenn Robinson. “I know that some of the guys feel the same way that I do, and that is that we owe so much of who we are to Coach Keady. I am just so glad his time is now.”
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During the 75-minute Zoomcast stories were shared, some serious and poignant and others revealing some of the quirks of the coach that led Purdue to six Big Ten titles and was named national coach-of-the-year seven times.
“Coach showed he could change with the times; he could evolve,” said Steve Reid, a key player on Keady’s first Big Ten title team in 1984 and later served for a decade as a color analyst with Larry Clisby on the Purdue radio network. “He always had the highest expectations for us and found a way not to settle for second best.”
Gene Keady earns a spot in the 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame Class. He was last on the court named after him following Purdue’s senior day win over Illinois on March 5, 2023. (Chad Krockover photo @KrockPhoto)
For Weber, who was Keady’s assistant both at Purdue and Western Kentucky, it was extra special to have this group together to talk about their former coach.
“These are so many of the guys that made it happen, said Weber, who has 497 career coaching victories and led Illinois to the national title game in 2005 and Kansas State to the Elite Eight in 2018. “I was just glad to be part of this group; it was truly many of the best players in the history of Purdue basketball.”
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