The greatest basketball player in the storied history of the University of Cincinnati, Oscar Robertson, has been named interim head basketball coach, Director of Athletics Bob Goin announced today.
A member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame and UC Hall of Fame, Robertson replaces Dan Peters, who was serving as UC's interim head coach before he accepted a position as associate head coach at Ohio State. Robertson will serve in the interim role until Bob Huggins returns from suspension on August 27.
"I appreciate Oscar's willingness to step-up for his university and its basketball program," Goin said in making the announcement. "He provides a wonderful opportunity for our young men to learn from a great basketball player and a leader in business and the community. He is a great role model. We are honored by his commitment to his alma mater."
In his role as interim head coach, Robertson has agreed to provide oversight and meet with the current UC players on a regular basis, as well as provide counseling on their academic and on and off the court responsibilities. He will not have any off-campus recruiting duties, but will be permitted on-campus recruiting activities as permitted by NCAA rules.
Assistant coaches Andy Kennedy and Keith LeGree will be handling off-campus recruiting evaluations as planned, beginning this Thursday, July 22 through the July 31 evaluation period. Day-to-day oversight of the men's basketball office will be managed by Deputy Athletic Director Dean Billick.
Robertson, a three-time first team consensus All-American and national Player of the Year at UC from 1957-60, is still the Bearcats' all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He also was the first basketball player in UC history to have his uniform number (12) retired by the university.
"It is a great honor and opportunity for me to work with the team and to assist the university," said Robertson. "I will do whatever I can to help develop these young men for their futures on and off the court."
Robertson's legacy is recognized at UC with a statue in his honor outside Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. After departing UC in 1960, Robertson embarked on a record-setting career in the NBA, playing 14 seasons for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks, making the All-Star team 12 times.
"Oscar Robertson will provide stability and guidance during a challenging period for our program," added UC President Nancy L. Zimpher. "I appreciate his generosity and support."