By Matt Dery
Oakland Basketball Analyst
More from Matt Dery
No fanfare. No elaborate celebration. At least not publicly. That is just the way Greg Kampe likes it. The legendary head coach at Oakland just won his 600th career game last week and you'd never know it.
The Golden Grizzlies knocked off Cleveland State on the road Friday night 82-66 and Kampe did not want to talk about three digit numbers. Actually, all he wanted was the basketball. And in classic Kampe fashion, he had to chase down the referees and some folks from CSU right after the game just to retrieve it.
600 career wins at Oakland. Not Oakland, Calif., which he's had to explain to people hundreds of times, Oakland University. Coach Kampe reached a milestone that only 14 other active D-1 bench bosses have accomplished. The last two to do it? Dana Altman and Lon Kruger. They are at Oregon and Oklahoma. Big name, big time programs. Here is Kampe, 34 years in to his tenure at mid-major Oakland, climbing a pretty steep mountain top with that grizzly bear logo on his lapel.
Greg is all about this school. He never complained when he was coaching D-II inside of an inflatable bubble (no seriously, I went to a game once before the O'rena was built and couldn't believe it).
He constantly makes it only about his players and the university and ends every interview with "thank you for having Oakland on." After the victory on Friday, he grabbed the third headset and joined Neal Ruhl and me on the radio for his customary post-game interview and sternly warned Neal not to bring up his milestone.
Kampe also did not reference it on Grizz TV with Neal either. 600 career wins is pretty darn cool, right? Nope. The Coach would rather talk about his team. He did tweet this out afterwards:
Many of u have reached out about 600. Thanks but this was a team thing.. many many teams. -coaches- players -administrators -presidents -grizz gang😄👍 and loyal fans who continued to show up. THANK YOU to all -let's get some more
Ironically enough, win number 600 was one of his best. Kampe was a maestro calling half-court sets, recognizing that Cleveland State had smaller defenders on Jalen Hayes and it opened up things on the outside for Kendrick Nunn and especially Nick Daniels.
He inserted Chris Palombizio into the lineup to start the second half in a two point game and Oakland went on an 18-3 run and never looked back. Kampe should also get credit for keeping this team together this season. Amidst all of the injuries, the Golden Grizzlies have won 17 games and sit at 9-7 in the Horizon League with two to play.
But he refuses to take your credit. Mr. 600 just thanks you for having Oakland on.
The Dery View is sponsored by the United Shore Professional Baseball League. For more information visit uspbl.com.