Gerry Friel, UNH basketball coach for 20 years
DURHAM, N.H. -- Gerry Friel, who was head basketball coach at the University of New Hampshire for 20 years, died Monday after a long illness. He was 64.
Mr. Friel, who coached the team from 1969 to 1989, closed out his career with 188 victories, which ranks first among all UNH men's basketball coaches in the 100-year history of the program.
He posted back-to-back winning records in the 1982-1983 and 1983-1984 seasons. His 1973-1974 and 1982-1983 squads rank second in most wins during a single season with 16.
But he also presided over many team losses. Mr. Friel's loss record was 335.
After he left in 1989, new coach Jim Boylan had luxuries Mr. Friel never had, such as two full-time assistants and a larger recruiting budget. People in and out of the school agreed that Mr. Friel couldn't win because he had little financial support from the administration.
Mr. Friel became director of university athletic relations before taking on a new role as the director of athletic fund-raising. He also served as associate vice president of the UNH Foundation.
"No players are out raping or killing someone or screwing up their heads," Mr. Friel said after stepping down as coach. "We're doing everything right except win basketball games."
A 1965 graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, Mr. Friel began his coaching career at Fulton High School in upstate New York.
After a year, he joined the Boston College staff as an assistant coach under Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy. Mr. Friel helped guild the Eagles to the NCAA tournament in 1967 and 1968 and advanced to the NIT Championship game in 1969.
He served under Cousy for three years before taking over at UNH.
Mr. Friel was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference's North Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year following the 1982-1983 campaign. He also was given the New England and US Basketball Writers Association All-District Coach of the Year awards that season.
Mr. Friel was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mr. Friel leaves his wife, Joan, and five children.
A celebration of Mr. Friel's life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in Huddleston Hall at UNH.