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What they're saying about McGuire

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001

"We went to school together at St. John's. He was the first guy to wear low-cut sneakers. He said the regular sneakers irritated his ankles. Even then, you could see that he walked to a different beat. He was fun to be with, not fun to play against." -- LOU CARNESECCA, Former St. John's coach

"Al never got enough credit for being a truly great coach because he didn't use the same X's and O's as many other coaches did. Al was a maverick -- he did it his way. But as they say, his record will speak for itself. I'll miss him and wish his family the best." -- DEAN SMITH, Former North Carolina coach

"He was some coach. He was Al the teacher, Al the mentor, Al the coach -- and you had to do things his way. I'll truly miss Al. He was one of a kind." -- DEAN MEMINGER, Former Marquette player

"Al was never a professional broadcaster, so anything that he did on air was not contrived. He was able to articulate what he was seeing the way he thought he saw it. It was all natural, that's why it was so well-accepted." -- BILLY PACKER, CBS announcer

"It was a thrill to play for him. I'd been spending time talking to him and I knew it was coming. He was in good spirits. I don't look at it as a sad day. Coach is not in pain anymore." -- BO ELLIS, Coach at Chicago State and former Marquette player

"Al McGuire was a man that lit up a room. I always got a kick out of Al because he would make people believe that he simply rolled out the ball and started coaching. But nothing could be further from the truth. He was a genius at managing the game." -- DICK VITALE, ESPN-ABC broadcaster

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