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November 24, 1976 - Image 17

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-11-24

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Wednesday, November 24, 1976


Page Nine

Orr silences critics by winning

The hard years seem to be
over for Johnny Orr.
The fans looked awfully cold
and the world pretty dark seven
years ago when Orr's second
team could not manage to win
half its games and "Dump Orr"
chants rang in Crisler.
Since then, Orr has put to-
gether six winning seasons -
culminating in last year's sec-
ond place NCAA finish - and
is now the winningest coach in
Michigan history.
Orr, named Coach of the
Year by his peers last sea-
son, has had only one losing
season as head coach of the
Yes, Johnny Orr is in fine
shape now.
Orr spent his "vacation" since
last April traveling around the
country giving talks to various
organizations and basketball
camps. He is now part of al-
most every major camp in the
United States.
What is apparent from the
trips is not only the way he
has spread the word about
Michigan, buttthe way he is
sharpeningrthe popular Johnny
Orr humor.
In Philadelphia, he kept a
press conference filled with, na-
tional sportswriters in stitch-
es. He's rolled on ever since,
delivering his drawled one-lin-
ers in more places than some
The relaxed, friendly air
about Orr is that of a highly
successful coach who is in
his prime -- and enjoying it.
Orr has built a solid founda-
tion at Michigan from which
to work.
"Johnny Orr has finally prov-
ed to the fans, the media and
everyone else what I knew when
I came four years ago," said
assistant coach Bill Frieder,
"that he is one of the most
knowledgeable and finest bas-
ketball coaches around.
Although Orr's teams are
characterized asdpressing, run-
ning and well disciplined, Orr

does not project the same im-
"He's not the hard-nosed
Bobby Knight kind of coach,"
Frieder said. "But he accom-
plishes things with his hones-
ty, sincerity and rapport with
"He's the most personable
person I've ever known," Fried-
er continued. "There isn't any-
thing he wouldn't do for any-
one if he possibly could.
"He's just a super guy. I'm
not saying that because he's my
boss either. He's just one of the
best people I've ever met.
"He's done a world of good
for Michigan. Everyone who
has ever met him - like at
his speaking - has been im-
pressed by him."
Frieder, on the other hand,
does not really emit the same
relaxing feeling as Orr.
Althogh unquestionably as
friendly and personable as Orr,
Frieder is an almost hyperac-
tive worker.
"He's a very hard worker,"
Orr said. "He's very nervous.
"Any job you give him, you
know he's going to get it done
and you know he's going to
do it well. Be has a drive
to succeed. He could do well
in almost anything."
It would come as no surprise
if Frieder landed a head coach-
ing job of his own. Last sea-
son, Fordham expressed con-
siderable interest in him.
In Orr's eight years, he has
already seen two of his assist-
ant coaches leave for head
coaching jobs - Jim Dutcher
at Minnesota, and Fred Snow-
den at Arizona. Will Frieder fol-
low the same course?
"It all depends on what oth-
er jobs are available and on
what connections he might
have," Orr said..
Frieder's responsibilities the
first two years he got here were
recruiting and scouting, and he
played a major role in one
of Michigan's best recruiting
years ever. Those jobsare now
handled by Jim. Boyce.

And what a job it is going ing Dan Fife to campus-only said. "He will have to do prac-
to be this year. duties, Boyce will be on the tically all the road work.
Since the NCAA decided, to road almost constantly. g "Orr and I will have to try
allow colleges only three full- "The burden he will have to to go out more when it doesn't
time basketball coaches, fore- take is tremendous," Frieder See COACHES, Page 17
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