At 86 years old, Lefty Driesell is finally where he belongs.
The coaching legend captivated the Springfield audience on Friday as he took the podium at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to speak at his enshrinement.
He took playful jabs at Duke (his alma mater), Mike Krzyzewski, his old age, his wife, and more as he grumbled through a memorable speech.
Fellow legends Krzyzewski, John Thompson, and George Raveling presented him.
Driesell’s coaching career lasted almost 50 years, starting at Granby High School in Virginia, then at Newport News High School where he helped build a 57-game winning streak. He took his first collegiate job in 1960, when he took Davidson from nine wins in his first season to 14 the next year, then 20-or-more wins in six of his final seven seasons there. His time at Davidson included four Southern Conference championships and three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
From there, Driesell spent 17 years at Maryland, an alleged non-mid-major school that played in a now-defunct conference called the ACC . The Terps won the 1972 NIT title under Driesell and made 11 total postseason appearances.
Driesell didn’t stop there. He later brought James Madison to five consecutive CAA regular season championships. He finished his career at Georgia State, where the Panthers went 29-5 in 2000-01 and knocked off Wisconsin in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Watch his full speech here:
Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Rod Thorn, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were the other inductees.