Tom Crean: 'You're given the chance to pick the brains of leaders'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 5, 2013
Tom Crean had an up-close look at the Super Bowl as the brother-in-law of both John and Jim Harbaugh.
It was a family trip, but it was also a business trip. With access to number leaders, Crean made a point to pick the minds of some notable people.
"Pat Riley's down there. I got a chance to spend a minute with Bill Parcells before he came out on the field," Crean said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. "Those are two coaching idols, and both I've gotten to know through being a coach and both I looked up to before I ever became a Division I head coach.
"You're given a chance to pick brains of leaders and people that are political leaders and business leaders. Even if it's just for a minute, what it does is it inspires you to think more creatively and to look at things differently. Just to pick up the interactions.
"I was in the commissioners box when the power went out, and to watch the commissioner of the NFL deal with that with such grace and calmness under pressure was amazing. I'm just standing and taking a look at that. To see how he handled all that, that's incredible. That all parallels and applies to everything we do in life. There's no doubt you take things from situations like this."
As for the family, Crean described it as an odd parallel between the joy and the heartbreak the Harbaughs felt for their sons. But Crean got some advice from Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
"You've got one family that you're overwhelmed with happiness for, and you've got another that has you close to heartbreak for somebody else that you can feel," Crean said. "It's difficult. It's hard, certainly for Joanie and her parents, because you've got such great joy for one and there is such pride. Doc Rivers sent a text (Sunday) night that I think summed this up, and I gave it to Jack. He said, as a parent, you're only as happy as your unhappiest child.
"I think that's an amazing statement, and one of the most profound things I've ever heard and probably fit what Joanie's parents are going through. But in a sense of it, it could be a once in a lifetime thing, so there's incredible joy in being a part of it."
You can listen to Crean's teleconference by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com