Tom Crean: Some happenstance. Some seeking them out. You know, it's a lot of fun to find people who have the same passion for what you do. And I think if anything I have learned and grown in is I probably got as many, or more, friends outside of basketball than inside of it. And to me, that's awesome because any time you can be around people who share your goals, destinations, passions, concerns, pitfalls, and you can compare notes and talk and then develop a friendship out of that, it's worth its weight in gold. I love it, and I learn something all the time and I hope they take something from it as well. And I think you learn a ton from successful people. I think you learn a ton from people who have been through the pitfalls, and I will give you a great example of Tony LaRussa. I think one reason the friendship has taken off so well and there is an age difference obviously, but he talks all the time about what Sparky Anderson did for him. What Gene Mauck did for him. Him and Jim Leland came up together, the two of them came up together as new managers and here are these legendary guys that took an interest in telling them the nuances of the business, the nuances of the game. Pat Riley has been like that. It's incredible. That's one of the greatest things in life is being able to have relationships where you can learn and go to people and get some advice, have some help. I love it.
Dennis Krause: Final question, and I wish we had more time, hopefully, we can do this again, you wake up in the morning with this "hair on fire passion," what are you chasing? Is it the national title, is it just the best you can be, excellence for your kids, all of those combined, what is it that motivates you so much?
Tom Crean: I think everything you said. I tell you what it used to be, and I don't think it is anymore, and I don't think I'll ever lose it completely because I have grown out of a lot of it, there were a lot of people who didn't see me doing this. Nobody saw me doing this. I've got some people who I grew up with, mainly my mother, who allowed me to chase dreams and goals. You asked a question earlier about Dominic (James), where does that fit in for me? If that's his passion (going to NBA), if that's his dream, I'm going to do everything I can do to help him get there. But all along the way I am going to tell him the truth. And it's the same with every other player that we have.
There weren't a lot of people picking me as the most likely to succeed, and I think that drove me hard for a long time. Now it's much deeper than that. I love being around people who want to be good at something. And that's why reading is so much fun. I love reading about politics. I love reading about army generals. I love reading other sports, business books, people have gone through it and I think now as I have grown older and have three kids, I want my three children to feel the pride and success, I want them to be proud of their dad and I also want them some day to see enough things that they can go out and not only handle the good days but handle the bad as well.
I think that's a great question. I have never really thought of it in detail like that but I would say that would be the biggest things. When it comes to Marquette, I will never forget those who said we would never have a home court. I will never forget those who thought it was reach for me to be a head coach at that age. I will never forget those who were there beside me to help me and everyday we are trying to prove that Marquette is with the big boys. Marquette is elite. It says "elite" on our jerseys and on our shirts because we became a Nike elite program. I want those young men and those coaches to feel like their elite not because somebody handed it to them, not because someone is enabling them, because they go and earn it everyday. And that to me is what I think drives me more than anything.
Dennis Krause: Tom Crean, thank you, it's been a pleasure. We'll do this again.
Tom Crean: I love watching your show. I have been a fan of yours since the day I got here, since the day I met you.
**This segment was printed with permission by Dennis Krause of Time Warner Sports. Krause is a two time winner of the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the year and is the Programming Manager for Time Warner Sports. Time Warner Sports can be found on Time Warner channel 32. You can also reach their website at: Time Warner Sports 32