Catching up with Johnny Orr

Most Cyclone fans would say they are very thankful for the fourteen years that Johnny Orr was the head basketball at Iowa State. Cyclone Sports Report recently caught up with Coach Orr to see what he's doing these days and to see what his thoughts are on his former star player Fred Hoiberg beginning his first season as Iowa State's head coach.

Cyclone Sports Report: What are you up to these days?

Johnny Orr: I'm living in Florida and golfing about two to three times a week. I'm 83 years old now and I have a 16 handicap so overall I'm having a great time down here. I also watch a lot of college basketball but I'm also looking forward to coming back for Johnny's at Hilton this winter.

Cyclone Sports Report: When you coached Fred did you expect him to one day become a coach?

Johnny Orr: To be honest it never really entered my mind but he was really a good player and was always considered a good leader.

Cyclone Sports Report: How excited are you that he is the new head coach at Iowa State?

Johnny Orr: It really means a lot to me because that's the first kid that I coached that is now the head coach at Iowa State. He's a natural leader and I really think it's great that he is there. It's great for Iowa State and I think he's doing a heck of a job.

Cyclone Sports Report: Fred has stated that he has leaned on you a lot for advice. What are some of the things that you have told him about becoming a head coach?

Johnny Orr: I told him to make sure he has his health. I told him it's a great place to coach with great fans and great facilities. In fact it's the best fans I have ever come across and he knows that. Most of the time we just talk about basketball. When he first got hired I just told him to make sure he got himself a good staff and then to make sure he got some good recruits.

Cyclone Sports Report: Do you miss coaching?

Johnny Orr: I don't miss it at all but I still enjoy watching it and I'm always checking Iowa State's results if I can't get the game on television down here.

Cyclone Sports Report: Do you feel the game has changed a lot since you retired?

Johnny Orr: No, I really think it's pretty much the same. That is why I still love watching it but I can't watch NBA until the playoffs start. The regular season just doesn't interest me.

Cyclone Sports Report: When you look back what are some of your favorite memories of your time coaching at Iowa State?

Johnny Orr: The first thing is that I love the fact that Danny Manning never won at Hilton Coliseum. I also loved the games that I had with Norm Stewart and Billy Tubbs at Hilton because the fans really had fun with them. Finally, my biggest win I would say was when we beat Michigan up in Minnesota in front of 39,000 people.

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