By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Mar 22, 2006 at 5:36 AM

Robert Byrd, the last player recruited by Marquette Warriors basketball coach Al McGuire and a member of the Warriors' 1977 NCAA championship team, has released a CD that brings to life the words, wisdom and wit of Al McGuire.

Called "Leadership, Opportunity, Self-Confidence and Goals," the 34-minute disc is a snapshot of the personality that helped make McGuire a legend in Milwaukee.

McGuire, who died Jan. 26, 2001 at age 72, coached at Marquette for 13 years, from 1964 to 1977, leading teams to 11 consecutive post-season bids and amassing a 295-80 record.

"In 1988, I approached coach (McGuire) with the idea of doing a tape. He went into the studio -- no notes, no anything -- and just talked, " says Byrd. "I took the studio cut and made it into a summary of his life and coaching."

The recording is vintage McGuire.

"Coach (McGuire) would always say, 'Stick to the basics and keep it simple.' Everything was very basic, no fluff. A lay-up was as good as a dunk. A pass is as good as a dribble. That was Coach. He was always the same guy, too, no matter his fame. And he stressed the business aspect of what I was involved in. He'd say standing room only meant ching, ching, ching, the cash registers ring," says Byrd.

"It's basic life techniques," says Byrd of McGuire's musings on the disc. Like the coach, it's not fancy, but it's entertaining and inviting."

While the CD was remixed and edited recently, it was recorded at Video Wisconsin in 1988.

"It's similar to the way I was recruited (from Wendell Phillip High School in South Chicago). Coach told me I'd have to wait my turn (to play). I had to wait my turn for the release of this tape, too."

But the release of the recording comes at a good time for Byrd who is now the founder and director of Bridging the Gap Learning Center, a K-5 choice school in at 1017 N. 17th St. He also runs the Bridging the Gap Golf Training Facility. The school is undergoing an expansion, and a part of the proceeds from the CD will be used to pay for construction.

"Coach (McGuire) felt he was marketable. This is his way of helping me benefit myself and the endeavors that I'm involved in."

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Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.