||Oct. 23, 2006
As a fitting tribute to Pete Newell's lifetime accomplishments in basketball as a coach, mentor and leader, a statue of the Hall of Famer and former Golden Bear head coach has been installed inside the Club Room at Haas Pavilion on the University of California campus.
Created by renowned sculptor Eino, the statue stands approximately seven feet high and weighs nearly 1,200 pounds. The work originated through the vision of the late Brian Maxwell and received additional financial assistance from players, coaches and managers who were part of Newell's teams in Berkeley.
"Having a sculpture to honor Pete Newell is a great tribute to a great man," Cal head coach Ben Braun said. "I can think of no other coach who had dedicated himself so greatly not only to Cal, but to the game of basketball, as well."
As a coach, Newell directed Cal to the 1959 NCAA championship and to a runner-up finish in 1960, when he was voted National Coach of the Year. He later guided the U.S. team to an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Games in Rome.
Newell, who turned 91 in August, served as head coach of the Bears from 1954-60 and compiled a 119-44 record that included four conference titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. He then worked as Cal's athletic director from 1960-68. Newell has remained active in the basketball community through his annual "Big Man Camps" and as a consultant to teams, players and coaches around the world.
Newell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979 and into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987. On Dec. 21, 1987, the playing surface at Harmon Gym was renamed "Pete Newell Court" in his honor, and the floor at Haas Pavilion retains the name.
Newell is the second former Cal coach to be recognized with a statue on campus. Former Cal football coach Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf, who led the Bears to three Rose Bowls, has a statue in his memory in Faculty Glade.