PROVO — Doug Allred gets a little choked up when he talks about Dave Rose.
When BYU defeated the University of San Diego on Saturday night for Rose’s 200th win, few could be prouder than Allred.
“He’s one of my boys. And I’m damn proud of it,” said Allred, from St. George, a Dixie State University hall of famer as coach and athletic director.
Rose’s milestone isn’t anything like the 876 by the late Adolph Rupp, but every win Rose gets is really a miracle. Rose entered this season the No. 4 active Division I coach in win percentage (.779) behind leader Roy Williams of North Carolina, Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Jamie Dixon (Pitt). When Rose walked out of the Marriott Center on Saturday night, his team stood 15-5 (.750).
Only two coaches in BYU history have won 200 or more games, Stan Watts and Rose.
“I get emotional when I think of all Dave’s been through." Allred meant Rose’s fight to beat pancreatic cancer.
The now 77-year-old Allred recruited Rose to Dixie College out of a high school in Houston. Later, Allred called University of Houston coach Guy Lewis and told him he had a shooting guard he ought to look at. Lewis agreed and signed Rose. Later, as athletic director, Allred told his president Douglas Alder to elevate Dixie assistant coach Rose to head coach when Ken Wagner left for BYU-Hawaii. And he did.
“I tell people all the time, I’m not surprised Dave Rose is a successful Division I college coach. He’s got all the right tools. Above all else, he has a high energy level, he’s completely honest, which is really something a Division I coach has to have. He’s likable and has an attractive personality.”
Retired 15 years, Allred coached Dixie in the '60s and '70s, and brought in Lionel Hollins, a 1975 NBA first-round sixth pick by the Portland Trailblazers. He points to a day in practice he grew to respect Rose for his tenacious competitive spirit and character.
“I was a very volatile coach. I had a temper. One day I told Dave to get out of the gym, get in his red Subaru and go. He stood there, didn’t move and stared me down. He refused to leave; he wanted to prove himself. A lot of players in that position would take off; Rose never did.”
Former Atlanta Hawks second-round pick Travis Hansen played at BYU when Rose was an assistant coach on Steve Cleveland's staff. Rose brought out the best Hansen had to give the game.
One day, Hansen asked Rose what it took to be a good coach.
Rose answered, “I believe it is my job as a coach to get every player to believe they are better than they think they are. They deserve that their coach believes in them and then the player has to live up to it and respond.”
Said Hansen, “Many coaches believe being the best of the best means having the best sports science, the most equipment, the best facilities and the most talented staff.
“Others believe it is simply a matter of good luck, good timing and being able to buy the best athletes.
“For the great ones, coaching is who they are — not what they do. It is their personality, their character, their ambition, their drive, their passion, their values and their soul. It is the air they breathe and it is every beat of their heart.
“For a good coach, the task is a job; for a great coach, it is their life.”
Rose is 55. He’s got a lot of miles left to improve on his 200. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is 65 and close to a thousand wins. Few are going to put a dent in Coach K’s assault on the books.
After the 74-57 win Saturday night, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe presented Rose the game ball. Seconds later, Cleveland was on the mic for BYUtv, his arm around his former assistant.
For the Cougars, as Rose pulls in a top-15 recruiting class for 2013, things do look solid for Rose and his program. It's not a fad or a trend. He's a winner. Allred will have plenty to be proud of in seasons to come for one of his boys.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at [email protected].