BERKELEY – Earl Shultz, who served on the Golden Bears’ 1959 NCAA Championship team and 1960 Final Four squad playing under head coach Pete Newell, is the 2014 recipient of the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award. He will be honored during a halftime ceremony at Haas Pavilion on Feb. 23 when California hosts USC at 5 p.m.
“Having been so close to Pete, anytime you get any kind of consideration with an award in his name it is a pretty big deal,” Shultz said. “For many years, he has been the most influential person in my life. I got to go to the greatest university in the world and learn from the greatest teacher of the game. He was a very humble man from all the accolades in his life.
“It is pretty special for me,” Shultz added. “There is no one that I admire more and my family admires more for that matter. I have spent an awful lot of quality time with Pete. There is certainly nobody better as a coach and a teacher. He is one of the greatest innovators the game has ever known. Pete was very influential in all of our lives. His idea was to play the perfect game. He didn’t tolerate mistakes. His demand for excellence was second to none.”
Shultz, a guard, was an honorable mention All-American in 1960 (United Press) and a third team All-American (Helms Athletic Foundation) in 1961. He was a First Team all-conference selection as well.
Shultz served on the Bears’ 1959 NCAA title squad and a runner-up team in 1960. A member of two Final Four teams, Shultz was selected by the New York Knicks in the 12th round of the 1961 NBA Draft.
“I don’t think I grasped the significance of winning an NCAA title back then,” Shultz explained. “In our minds, there was no doubt we would win the game. We always felt we were very well prepared and Pete is such a great coach that we could adjust to anything that came our way. Part of this was from the phenomenal scouting of Rene Herrerias, who was such a significant part of our success.”
Newell retired following the 1960 season where he became Cal’s Director of Athletics. Rene Herrerias was Shultz’s coach for his final season in Berkeley.
A starter as a senior in 1961, Shultz averaged 9.9 ppg., owned a team-best .826 free throw percentage as a starting guard for the Bears in 1961 under Herrarias.
After graduating Cal, Shultz attended medical school at nearby University of California-San Francisco for four years. He then served a four-year residency at the county hospital in both San Diego and Los Angeles before going into private practice in North San Diego County.
In 1986, Shultz was selected for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Silver Anniversary team.
About Pete Newell
Pete Newell served as Cal's basketball coach from 1954-60, guiding the Bears to the 1959 NCAA Championship and a national runner-up finish in 1960, the same season he was voted the national coach of the year. Cal also reached the NCAA regional final in 1957 and '58 under his leadership. Overall, he led the Bears to four consecutive conference titles (1957-60) while compiling a 119-44 record. Newell coached the 1960 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal at the Rome Olympics and later served as Cal's Director of Athletics from 1960-68.
Newell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987. The entire 1960 Olympic team, which included former Golden Bear Darrall Imhoff in addition to Newell as head coach, was enshrined into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010. Newell also earned entry into the FIBA International Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Newell, who was born on Aug. 31, 1915, passed away on Nov. 17, 2008.