Royce Waltman, an Indiana basketball coaching legend, passed away Monday evening after a long battle with cancer. He was 72.
Waltman was the color commentator on Indiana basketball radio broadcasts from 2010 until mid-December of 2013.
He is survived by his wife, Carole, their daughter, Suzanne, and son, Kevin.
Waltman had been hospitalized at Prairie Lakes Health Campus in Noblesville recently after suffering a stroke in February.
Don Fischer, the voice of IU basketball, was a close friend who had visited Waltman recently in Noblesville.
"Royce was one of these coaches that endeared himself to everybody, even those who he got angry with now and then,'' Fischer said. "Everybody that knew him respected him and liked him. He was a terrific basketball coach but he was much more than that to everyone he knew. The time we spent with him on our broadcasts were absolutely special."
IU coach Tom Crean said he respected Waltman long before he came to Indiana in 2008.
"In just learning of the passing of Coach Waltman, we have profound sadness and feel for his wife, Carole and everyone in his family,'' Crean said. "Royce was a very special person who gave so much to the game of basketball and without question impacted everyone he coached, worked with and supported. His knowledge of the game and ability to teach it was only eclipsed by the way he made you feel when you were with him. Personally, I respected him long before I came to Indiana. In getting to know Royce here, I was incredibly fortunate to have become his friend. The genuine respect he would impart on me and the program was heartfelt and will always be remembered.
"The sign of this man's toughness was on our trip to New York when we played Washington and UConn in the Wounded Warrior project (earlier this season). We all knew he was in pain and he went great lengths to not show it and stayed focused on his radio duties. It was another example of what made him a great leader, his poise under pressure and putting others before himself. Not only are my thoughts and prayers with Coach Waltman's family, but with people like Brad Brownell, Rick Ray, Dick Bender and the countless others who lost a father figure."
Waltman's name is known throughout the state of Indiana for basketball success. He was an assistant for Bob Knight at Indiana from 1982-87. He was an assistant with IU's '87 national championship team.
His next stop was as the head coach at DePauw where in 1990 his team made it to the national championship game.
In 1992, Waltman took the job as the head coach at the University of Indianapolis. He won 103 games in five seasons before being named the head coach at Indiana State in1997. In the 2000-01 season, Indiana State won the Missouri Valley Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Sycamores also qualified for the NCAA Tournament the next season as well.
Waltman's career coaching record was 337-263.