Tex Winter

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Tex Winter
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1922-02-25) February 25, 1922 (age 92)
Near Wellington, Texas
Playing career
1940–1942
1942–1943
1946–1947
Compton Junior College
Oregon State
USC
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1947–1951
1951–1953
1953–1968
1968–1971
1971–1973
1973–1978
1978–1983
1985–1998
1999–2008
Kansas State (Asst.)
Marquette
Kansas State
Washington
Houston Rockets (NBA)
Northwestern
Long Beach State
Chicago Bulls (Asst.)
Los Angeles Lakers (Asst.)
Head coaching record
Overall 486–235 (.674)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2011
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2010

Morice Fredrick "Tex" Winter (born February 25, 1922) is a retired American basketball coach, and innovator of the triangle offense.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born near Wellington, Texas (a fact which later provided him with his nickname), Winter attended Huntington Park High School in Huntington Park, California. After graduation from high school in 1940, Winter attended college at Compton Community College for two years and Oregon State University for one year. He was on the basketball and track teams at both schools. As a pole vaulter, Winter was considered a strong candidate for the US Olympic team in 1944, but the Olympics were cancelled by World War II.

Winter left Oregon State in early 1943 and entered the United States Navy for flight training. After his pilot's wings were conferred he was assigned to fighter pilot duty in the Pacific. However, his orders were rescinded after his brother's plane was shot down, and Winter remained at Naval Air Station Glenview in Illinois for the duration of the war. After the war, he was assigned to NAS Corpus Christi as a test pilot. He left the Navy with the rank of Ensign in 1946.

Winter returned to college after the war at the University of Southern California, where he learned the triangle offense from his coach Sam Barry. At USC, Winter was a teammate of Gene Rock, a future professional basketball player.

College coaching career[edit]

After graduating college in 1947, Winter immediately entered the coaching profession as an assistant to Hall-of-Famer Jack Gardner at Kansas State University. He would work as a basketball coach for the next 61 years.

In 1952, Winter began a two-year stint as head coach at Marquette University, becoming the youngest coach in major college basketball. In 1954 Winter returned to Kansas State.[2][3] Winter served as Kansas State's head coach for the following 15 years, posting a 261-118 (.689) record. He still owns the record for most league titles (eight) in school history and twice led the Wildcats to the Final Four (1958 and 1964). Winter guided K-State to postseason play seven times overall, including six trips to the NCAA Tournament, and boasts one of the highest winning percentages in K-State's history.

Winter was named UPI National Coach of the Year in 1958 after he led Kansas State to the Final Four by knocking off Oscar Robertson and second-ranked Cincinnati in an 83-80 double-overtime thriller. Junior center Bob Boozer was one of three Wildcats to be named a first team All-America, along with teammates Jack Parr and Roy DeWitz. K-State advanced to their fourth Final Four in 1964. Winter’s Wildcats knocked off Texas Western and Wichita State to reach Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Two-time Big Eight selection Willie Murrell averaged 25.3 points per game during the run, which ended in a 90-82 loss to eventual national champion UCLA.

In 1962, Winter also wrote the book, entitled The Triple-Post Offense, on the triangle offense – the offense which he utilized with such success at Kansas State. Following his departure from Kansas State, Winter served shorter stints as head coach at the University of Washington (where he was hired by then Athletic Director Joseph Kearney), Northwestern University, and Long Beach State. In total, Winter won 454 games at the collegiate level.

Professional coaching[edit]

Winter also served as head coach of the Houston Rockets for two seasons, 1971–1973, posting a 51-78 (.395) record.

In 1985, Winter started another chapter of his life, serving as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls, and teaching the triangle offense to Michael Jordan. He was hired to the position by General Manager Jerry Krause, an old friend he had met while at Kansas State. As an assistant to Phil Jackson, who took over as the Bulls' head coach in 1989, Winter and his triangle offense were an integral part of the Bulls' NBA championships in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. Winter followed Phil Jackson to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he collected three additional championship rings, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Winter was also a consultant for the NBA-champion 2008–09 Los Angeles Lakers team.[4]

Health problems[edit]

On April 25, 2009, Winter suffered a stroke in Manhattan, Kansas, while attending a Kansas State basketball reunion.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Winter is a member of several halls of fame, including the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the John Bunn Award for lifetime achievement from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.[6] In June 2010 he was given the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award by the NBA Coaches Association.[7] On his eighth time on the final ballot for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced on April 2, 2011, that Winter had been elected. He was formally inducted on August 12.

On May 26, 2012 Winter was inducted into the Compton Community College Athletics Hall of Fame, under the category of Basketball.

Head coaching record[edit]

College basketball[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Marquette (Independent) (1951–1953)
1951–1952 Marquette 12–14
1952–1953 Marquette 13–11
Marquette: 25–25 (.500)
Kansas State (Big Seven Conference) (1953–1958)
1953–1954 Kansas State 11–10 5–7 T–4th
1954–1955 Kansas State 11–10 6–6 T–3rd
1955–1956 Kansas State 17–8 9–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1956–1957 Kansas State 15–8 8–4 2nd
1957–1958 Kansas State 22–5 10–2 1st NCAA Final Four
Kansas State: 76–41 (.650) 38–22 (.633)
Kansas State (Big Eight Conference) (1958–1968)
1958–1959 Kansas State 25–2 14–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1959–1960 Kansas State 16–10 10–4 T–1st
1960–1961 Kansas State 22–5* 13–1* 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1961–1962 Kansas State 22–3 12–2 2nd
1962–1963 Kansas State 16–9 11–3 T–1st
1963–1964 Kansas State 22–7 12–2 1st NCAA Final Four
1964–1965 Kansas State 12–13 5–9 T–6th
1965–1966 Kansas State 14–11 9–5 3rd
1966–1967 Kansas State 17–8 9–5 4th
1967–1968 Kansas State 19–9 11–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Kansas State: 185–77 (.706) 116–34 (.773)
Kansas State: 261–118 (.689) 154-57 (.730)
Washington (Pacific-8 Conference) (1968–1971)
1968–1969 Washington 13–13 6–8 4th
1969–1970 Washington 17–9 7–7 5th
1970–1971 Washington 15–13 6–8 5th
Washington: 45–35 (.563) 19–23 (.452)
Northwestern (Big Ten Conference) (1973–1978)
1973–1974 Northwestern 9–15 3–11 9th
1974–1975 Northwestern 6–20 4–14 T–9th
1975–1976 Northwestern 12–15 7–11 T–7th
1976–1977 Northwestern 9–18 7–11 T–7th
1977–1978 Northwestern 8–19 4–14 T–9th
Northwestern: 44–87 (.336) 25–61 (.291)
Long Beach State (Pacific Coast Athletic Association) (1978–1983)
1978–1979 Long Beach State 16–12 7–7 4th
1979–1980 Long Beach State 22–12 11–3 2nd NIT 2nd Round
1980–1981 Long Beach State 15–13 9–5 T–3rd
1981–1982 Long Beach State 12–16 7–7 T–4th
1982–1983 Long Beach State 13–16 6–10 7th
Long Beach State: 78–69 (.531) 40–32 (.556)
Total: 453–334 (.576)

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

*1960–61 record reflects one win by forfeit over Colorado.

Professional basketball[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
HOU 1971–72 82 34 48 .415 4th in Pacific - - - - Missed Playoffs
HOU 1972–73 47 17 30 .362 3rd in Central - - - - n/a
Career 129 51 78 .395 - - - -

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Triple-Post Offense, (1962)

Further reading[edit]

  • Bender, Mark (2000). Trial by Basketball: The Life and Times of Tex Winter. ISBN 1-886110-90-5

See also[edit]

References[edit]