Red Holzman

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Red Holzman
Knicks coach Red Holzman.jpg
Red Holzman in the 1970s
No. 10, 16
Point guard
Personal information
Born (1920-08-10)August 10, 1920
Brooklyn, New York
Died November 13, 1998(1998-11-13) (aged 78)
New Hyde Park, New York
Listed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
College CCNY (1940–1942)
Pro career 1945–1954
Career history
As player:
1945–1953 Rochester Royals
1953–1954 Milwaukee Hawks
As coach:
1954–1957 Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks
1957–1967 New York Knicks (assistant)
1963–1967 Ponce Lions (Puerto Rico)
1967–1977, 1978–1982 New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards

As player:

As coach:

Basketball Hall of Fame as coach

William "Red" Holzman (August 10, 1920 – November 13, 1998) was an NBA basketball player and coach probably best known as the head coach of the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1982. Holzman helped lead the Knicks to two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973, and was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1996, Holzman was named one of Top 10 Coaches in NBA History.[2]

Early career[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920, to Jewish immigrant parents, as the son of a Romanian mother and Russian father.[3] Holzman grew up in that borough's Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood and played basketball for Franklin K. Lane High School in the mid-1930s. He attended the University of Baltimore and later the City College of New York, where he played for two years until graduation in 1942. Holzman joined the United States Navy in the same year, and played on the Norfolk, Virginia Naval Base team for two years.

Professional career[edit]

Holzman was discharged from the Navy in 1945 and subsequently joined the NBL Rochester Royals, which won the NBL championship in Holzman's first season. Holzman was Rookie of the Year in 1944–45. In 1945–46 and 1947–48 he was on the NBL's first All League team; in the interim year he was on its second team.[4] Holzman stayed with the team through their move to the NBA and subsequent NBA championship in 1951. In 1953, Holzman left the Royals and joined the Milwaukee Hawks as a player-coach, eventually retiring as a player in 1954 but continuing as the team's head coach. During the 1956–1957 season, Holzman led the Hawks (then in St. Louis, Missouri) to 19 losses during their first 33 games, and was subsequently fired.

In 1957, Holzman became a scout for the New York Knicks for ten years ending in 1967, whereupon he became the team's head coach for the most part until 1982.[5] (Holzman's former player, Willis Reed, replaced him as Knicks head coach in 1977, but Holzman returned near the start of the 1978–1979 season.) During this 15-year span as Knicks' coach, Holzman won a total of 613 games, including two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.

In 1969, Holzman coached the Knicks to a then single-season NBA record 18-game win streak, breaking the 17-game record first set back in 1946. For his efforts leading up to the Knicks' 1970 championship win, Holzman was named the NBA Coach of the Year for that year. He was one of very few individuals to have won an NBA championship as both player and coach. As a coach, his final record was 696 wins and 604 losses. In 1985, he was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The New York Knicks have retired the number 613 in his honor, equaling the number of wins he accumulated as their head coach.

He lived with his wife in a home they bought in Cedarhurst, New York in the 1950s. Following his lengthy NBA coaching career, Holzman was diagnosed with leukemia and died at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York in 1998.[5]

Head coaching record[edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Milwaukee Hawks 1953–54 16 6 10 .375 4th Western Missed Playoffs
Milwaukee Hawks 1954–55 72 26 46 .361 4th Western Missed Playoffs
St. Louis Hawks 1955–56 72 33 39 .458 3rd Western 8 4 4 .500 Lost in Western Division Finals
St. Louis Hawks 1956–57 33 14 19 .424
New York Knicks 1967–68 45 28 17 .622 3rd in Eastern 6 2 4 .333 Lost in Eastern Division Semifinals
New York Knicks 1968–69 82 54 28 .659 3rd in Eastern 10 6 4 .600 Lost in Eastern Division Finals
New York Knicks 1969–70 82 60 22 .732 1st in Eastern 19 12 7 .632 Won NBA Championship
New York Knicks 1970–71 82 52 30 .634 1st in Eastern 12 7 5 .583 Lost in Conference Semifinals
New York Knicks 1971–72 82 48 34 .585 2nd in Eastern 16 9 7 .563 Lost in NBA Finals
New York Knicks 1972–73 82 57 25 .695 2nd in Eastern 17 12 5 .706 Won NBA Championship
New York Knicks 1973–74 82 49 33 .598 2nd in Eastern 12 5 7 .417 Lost in Conference Finals
New York Knicks 1974–75 82 40 42 .488 3rd in Eastern 3 1 2 .333 Lost in First Round
New York Knicks 1975–76 82 38 44 .463 4th in Eastern Missed Playoffs
New York Knicks 1976–77 82 40 42 .488 3rd in Eastern Missed Playoffs
New York Knicks 1978–79 68 25 43 .368 4th in Eastern Missed Playoffs
New York Knicks 1979–80 82 39 43 .476 4th in Eastern Missed Playoffs
New York Knicks 1980–81 82 50 32 .610 3rd in Eastern 2 0 2 .000 Lost in First Round
New York Knicks 1981–82 82 33 49 .402 5th in Eastern Missed Playoffs
Career 1300 696 604 .535 105 58 47 .552

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dimitry, Steve (1998). "Extinct Sports Leagues: National Basketball League (1937-1949)". 
  2. ^ "Top 10 Coaches in NBA History". NBA.com. Retrieved March 14, 2008. 
  3. ^ Othello Harris, George Kirsch; Claire Nolte (April 2000). Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 222. ISBN 0-313-29911-0. 
  4. ^ Archived August 18, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Berkow, Ira (November 15, 1998). "Red Holzman, Hall of Fame Coach, Dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]