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Sportscaster Dick Enberg To Host Play He Wrote About Coach Al McGuire, Oct. 9

September 27th, 2010

Come meet Dick Enberg at a private pre-show reception, then enjoy a Q&A session with Enberg after the play.

Coach: The Untold Story of College Basketball Legend Al McGuire incorporates amusing anecdotes about McGuire’s coaching days at Belmont Abbey; performances on October 8th (8:00 p.m.) and October 9th (7:30 p.m.)

On October 8th and 9th, Al McGuire will return – at least in spirit – to the place where it all began for him as a head coach: Belmont Abbey College. McGuire’s broadcasting partner Dick Enberg, who wrote the one-man play Coach: The Untold Story of College Basketball Legend Al McGuire to honor his late friend, will introduce the play in person at the October 9th 7:30 p.m. performance at the Abbey’s Haid Theatre. Acclaimed Broadway, television and film actor Cotter Smith will star as McGuire, and the show will be directed by Heidi Mueller-Smith. Mr. Enberg will also be on hand for a private pre-show reception, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Haid Ballroom prior to the October 9th performance. There will be a brief Q&A with Mr. Enberg after the October 9th 7:30 p.m. performance as well. Both performances of the play – one on October 8th at 8:00 p.m., the other on October 9th – promise to sell out quickly, so please order your tickets today. (CLICK HERE to order tickets for the October 8th performance; CLICK HERE to order tickets for the October 9th performance, plus the reception and Q&A with Dick Enberg.) Proceeds will go toward the Crusader Club, which helps fund Abbey Athletics, in honor of the late Joe McDermott ’63. McDermott was recruited to Belmont Abbey by Al McGuire in 1959, he scored 1,587 career points, and he was the second Crusaders player drafted by the NBA. McDermott’s No. 54 jersey was retired by the school in his honor and he was an inaugural inductee into the Abbey Athletics Hall of Fame.

Mr. Enberg’s play debuted in 2005 to sell-out audiences at Marquette University, where McGuire led the men’s basketball team to the 1977 NCAA national championship. It returned to Marquette by popular demand the next year. It was then presented at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta during the 2007 Final Four Championship; at Hofstra University; and at the North Coast Repertory in San Diego County. It returned to North Coast Rep by popular demand, and then traveled to Central Michigan University, Dick Enberg’s alma mater. The play has received rave reviews as an accurate portrayal of the legendary coach.

Players and fans knew Al McGuire to be one of the most colorful characters in the history of basketball as he blazed winning records of 109-64 at Belmont Abbey College (1957-1964) and 295-80 at Marquette (1964-1977). McGuire’s popularity only increased when he moved into a second career as a sportscaster for NBC and CBS, where he teamed with Dick Enberg and Billy Packer, forming one of broadcasting’s most entertaining and unpredictable teams.

Eleven-time Sportswriter of the Year Rick Reilly wrote the following about the coaching legend shortly before McGuire passed away:

“It wasn’t just that he took an obscure Catholic school called Marquette to the NCAA basketball title in 1977. It wasn’t just that he was Dick Vitale 10 years before Vitale was Vitale. It wasn’t just that he was to college hoops what Bill Veeck was to baseball. It was how much … fun we had watching him do it…

“When he beat Dean Smith and North Carolina for the title, the same night Rocky won Best Picture, he left the bench seconds after the game was over — out of coaching forever at 48 — and wept. He made millions from NBC and CBS, but wherever he’d shop, he’d ask the salesman, ‘Do you honor the clergy discount?’ Yet he cared 100 times less for millionaires than he did for the 12th guy on his bench. He built his program with mostly inner-city kids, and he kept his promises to them. He’d take them to plays. He’d get their teeth fixed for free…

“McGuire popularized such sports terminology as Hail Mary pass, aircraft carrier, prime time and blue chip. As a pit-bull New York Knicks guard in the early 1950s, he once showed up at center court with a knife, fork and plate and hollered, “I’m gonna eat Cousy for dinner!” As an NBC broadcaster he showed up at Duke in safari gear, brandishing a whip and a chair in front of the students. On the air he championed the Wyoming State Porcupines, 26th-best team in the country, not bad considering he and his pals invented them…”

As Al McGuire’s broadcasting partner for 10 years, Dick Enberg gained access to the colorful, creative, poetic, outspoken, and brilliant life of the late coach. In his touching and inspiring play, Enberg allows Al to reveal his inner secrets and private thoughts that he kept from the public and depicts why the philosophy of this uncommonly funny and profound man had such an important and lasting impact on so many.

Distinguished actor Cotter Smith will reprise his role as McGuire. Smith just completed a critically-acclaimed Broadway run in the Tony Award-nominated “Next Fall.” He also recently appeared in the HBO film You Don’t Know Jack as a prosecutor attempting to convict Dr. Jack Kevorkian, portrayed by Al Pacino. He also just completed filming an episode of the acclaimed new TV series White Collar.  Mr. Smith’s other New York theatre credits include the Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, Lanford Wilson’s Burn This and Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive. His film credits range from his debut twenty-five years ago as Robert Kennedy in the mini-series Blood Feud to his role as the President of the United States in the Twentieth Century Fox film X2: X-Men United. His numerous television credits include Oz, The Twilight Zone, Judging Amy, Alias and Brothers and Sisters

Basketball Hall of Famer and Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Bill Walton says: “With the unfettered access of being Al’s best friend for years and the remarkable memory of someone who was actually there for much of the incredible journey of Al’s lifetime, Dick Enberg has flawlessly captured one of the most important, inspirational and interesting personalities [the sports] world has ever known….Cotter Smith’s performance is nothing short of brilliant…”

More about the playwright, Dick Enberg:After twenty-five years with NBC TV Sports, where he began in 1975 as the play-by-play man on college basketball, Dick Enberg joined CBS Sports in January 2000 where he serves as play-by-play announcer for The NFL on CBS, as well as for college basketball and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. He also contributes to CBS’s broadcasts of The Masters and the PGA Championship. Over the span of his long career, he has garnered a series of national honors and awards, including 9 Emmy Awards; 9 Sportscaster of the Year Awards; the Ronald Reagan Media Award; and the Victor Award as the top sportscaster for the past 40 years. He is the only person to win multiple national Emmy Awards in all three categories of broadcasting, writing, and producing.

In April of 1996, Enberg was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. In February of 1998, he became only the fourth sportscaster to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has broadcast virtually every major sporting event, including 19 Wimbledon Championships, 16 French Opens, 10 Super Bowls, 9 Rose Bowls, six Orange Bowls, five NCAA Basketball Finals, four Olympic Games, four U.S. Open Golf Championships, three Heavyweight Boxing Championships, two Ryder Cups, and one World Series.

He began his full-time sportscasting career in 1965 in Los Angeles, becoming the radio and TV voice of the California Angels, UCLA basketball, and the Los Angeles Rams. Before joining NBC in 1975 he was named four times as California Sportscaster of the Year. He hosted the long-running national series, Sports Challenge, and co-­produced the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, The Way It Was.

The Armada, Michigan native began broadcasting while he was a student at Central Michigan University. He earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University. Prior to his sportscasting career, he was an assistant professor and assistant baseball coach at California State University Northridge (1961-65). Enberg has been named as a distinguished alumnus by both Central Michigan and Indiana University. Since 1985, he has served as the spokesperson for the Academic All-America program.

Coach: The Untold Story of College Basketball Legend Al McGuire by Dick Enberg
Starring Cotter Smith
Directed by Heidi Mueller-Smith

When: October 8th at 8:00 p.m. and October 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Haid Theatre on the campus of Belmont Abbey College
100 Belmont-Mount Holly Road, Belmont, North Carolina 28012


  • $35 per individual for the October 8th performance
  • $100 per individual for the October 9th performance; includes admission to the private reception featuring Dick Enberg, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served), the play, and the Q&A afterwards. 


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