1982.04.28-4e-lein

Unusual news conference

In 1982, Phoenix men’s basketball was only few years away from a remarkable ascent that would regularly pack the Brown County Arena and make the program a national name in Division I, but not many could have foreseen it at the time. Attendance was slim, the move up to NCAA D-I had been met with a fair degree of skepticism, and critics pulled few punches in questioning the University’s ambitions. Administrators had high hopes, then, that the introductory press conference on April 9, 1982, for new coach Dick Lien, a successful veteran assistant, would signal the start of a bright new era. As it turned out, what happened next would make sports pages and broadcasts far and wide… and would have broken the internet if had occurred a few decades later. The new coach collapsed to the floor not once but twice during his acceptance remarks, mid-sentence. Lien was unhurt and treated the episode with good humor later that day once he had been given a clean bill of health. A distance runner, he had fainted from the day’s excitement after forgetting to re-hydrate from his morning workout.

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