Coaching Spotlight: Bruce Weber

February, 5, 2010
02/05/10
9:41
AM ET
Bruce Weber can still remember the last conversation he had with his mother. It was on the eve of the Big Ten tournament five years ago.

"She said to me, 'It's almost like a fairy tale. Every time I turn on the TV, you're on.' I remember, she said, 'I wish your dad could be a part of this."'

Dawn Weber died prior to that tournament, before Illinois' magical NCAA tournament run to the title game that ended with a loss to North Carolina in St. Louis. Bruce's father, Louis, died 23 years ago of a heart attack, long before Bruce became a head coach at Southern Illinois after an 18-year stint as an assistant at Purdue to Gene Keady.

Many of us are fortunate to be guided by parents who saw what was right, who sacrificed to ensure our lives were better than theirs and constantly instilled the values to be hard-working, appreciative, and passionate about what we want to do in life.

Many of the Greatest Generation who survived World War II couldn't ignore the basic fundamental values of hard work, humility and selflessness.

For Bruce Weber, arguably one of the most ego-less coaches in a cut-throat profession, his inspiration for coaching came directly from his parents.

Editor's note: To read the rest of Andy Katz's Coaching Spotlight on Bruce Weber, click here. You can hear him in his own words, in this podcast with Katz, here .

Andy Katz | email

ESPN.com Senior Writer

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