March 31, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - University of Washington men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar has been chosen as the winner of the 2006 John Wooden "Keys to Life" Award in honor of his outstanding character and coaching excellence.
Established in 1998, the "Keys to Life" Award is modeled after UCLA legend John Wooden for his high level of moral character, integrity and faith, on and off the court. Wooden's legacy reflects the life-long pursuit of a creed his father gave him at age 12, entitled "Keys to Life."
"Lorenzo is a shining example of what is great about college basketball...his care and investment in his players, his high level of excellence throughout his program and his unyielding commitment to being God's man are both inspirational and exemplary," said Bill Pugh, president of Athletes in Action, the organization presenting the award.
Coach Romar was recently voted in a Sports Illustrated Pac-10 poll as "the opposing coach players would most like to play for" and Washington was voted the "team with most respect for their coach."
Romar began his coaching career at Pepperdine and continued at St. Louis before heading to the Evergreen State to lead the Huskies in 2002. Prior to his career as an NCAA coach, Romar spent seven years on staff with Athletes in Action playing, coaching, leading basketball clinics, and speaking as an ambassador for the game of basketball and the United States. Romar is currently the all-time leader in assists for Athletes in Action (1,689) and is No. 2 in points scored (4,244).
The Keys to Life Award has come full circle as its first recipient in 1998 was legendary Washington coach Marv Harshman.
The award will be presented at the annual Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, Saturday, April 1 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Ernie Johnson, the host for "Inside the NBA" on TNT will emcee the ceremony and the guest speaker is Jerry Colangelo, the chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns.
The Legends of the Harwood Breakfast is hosted annually by Athletes in Action and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during the NCAA Final Four weekend. Other 2006 "Keys to Life" award finalists include Allan Houston, retired from the N.Y. Knicks; Avery Johnson, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks; and Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks.