Just caught up with the man of the hour: Mr. Tom Crean.
Crean just arrived in Bloomington about an hour ago and headed towards the Bloomington Hilton Garden Inn, where he’ll be staying tonight. He popped out of the backseat of a Lincoln sedan and immediately started talking with a few IU students who had been waiting outside the hotel.
Crean wasn’t hesitant to converse with the students or the media. When asked why he took the job, IU’s new head man gave his answer.
“‘Cuz it’s Indiana. I’ve competed in this league and against Indiana. I grew up in the Midwest. If you’re a college basketball fan then you know exactly what Indiana basketball is all about. If you’re a coach then you identify this as one of the greatest jobs in the country.”
He also got off to a good start with at least one fan. An IU student, trying to prove to his friend that he was talking to IU’s new coach, offered Crean the chance to convince his friend on the phone.
“Hey, I don’t know the IU fight song yet,” Crean told the student. “Can you guys sing it to me?” The few fans outside the Garden Inn proceeded with their best version of “Indiana, Our Indiana.”
“Indiana basketball, forever, has been bigger than one person,” he said. “Certainly there has been some great names of coaches and players that have come through here and made this the legendary program that it is. And it will happen again. And it’s going to be a challenge. There’s no way I would have accepted it if I didn’t think I was up for it.”