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YouTube Gold: Tony Barone’s Moving Induction Into The Creighton Athletics Hall Of Fame

Worth watching to see the humanity and the humility as he knows his life is drawing to a close

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Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago Bulls
CHICAGO - JANUARY 13: Interim head coach Tony Barone of the Memphis Grizzlies coaches the Chicago Bulls January 13, 2007 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 111-66.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Since Jim wrote a nice piece on the late Tony Barone, a Duke player of the Bubas era, we thought we’d add this to the mix: it’s his induction to the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame speech.

It starts off as a sort of standard speech of that sort, thanking everyone and expressing how much he appreciated what he experienced at Creighton.

Not to diminish that, but what comes after is quite moving.

The video is from 2015, just eight years after the picture that accompanies this article. As you’ll see, he looks much older and as you’ll come to understand, he knows that he has cancer and it has clearly taken a toll on him.

He talks a bit about Vic Bubas giving him advice on coaching. At this point in Bubas’s career, he had probably been thinking about getting out for a while and would retire in 1969.

He tells Barone that the most important factor in being a successful coach is having a strong and understanding wife.

He alludes to his cancer - he calls it “my little battle” - and speaks about how he has always relied on his wife Kathy and how he couldn’t face up to his struggle without her. Those weren’t his exact words but you’ll see.

At the end he asked the Creighton crowd for prayers because, he said, first he needed a lot of them and second, they needed the practice.

A coach to the very end.

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