February 25, 1922 |
Near Wellington, Texas
|Compton Junior College
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Kansas State (Asst.)
Houston Rockets (NBA)
Long Beach State
Chicago Bulls (Asst.)
Los Angeles Lakers (Asst.)
|Head coaching record|
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2011
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2010
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 However, his orders were rescinded after his brother's plane was shot down, and Winter remained at Naval Air Station Glenview in Illinois for the duration of the war.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
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. 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.
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.
Awards and honors
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. In June 2010 he was given the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award by the NBA Coaches Association. 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
|Marquette (Independent) (1951–1953)|
|Kansas State (Big Seven Conference) (1953–1958)|
|1955–1956||Kansas State||17–8||9–3||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|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|
|1960–1961||Kansas State||22–5*||13–1*||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1963–1964||Kansas State||22–7||12–2||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|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)|
|Washington:||45–35 (.563)||19–23 (.452)|
|Northwestern (Big Ten Conference) (1973–1978)|
|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)|
*1960–61 record reflects one win by forfeit over Colorado.
|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 %|
|HOU||1971–72||82||34||48||.415||4th in Pacific||-||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|HOU||1972–73||47||17||30||.362||3rd in Central||-||-||-||-||n/a|
- The Triple-Post Offense, (1962)
- Bender, Mark (2000). Trial by Basketball: The Life and Times of Tex Winter. ISBN 1-886110-90-5
- Coffey, Wayne (15 March 2014). "Master Mind: Meet Tex Winter, the man behind Phil Jackson's Triangle offense". New York Daily News. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- ABC News (49): Former K-State basketball star dies at 72; February 22, 2007. accessed on October 2, 2007.
- Canada Basketball: Candidates for the 2007 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame announced; May 25, 2007 accessed on October 2, 2007.
- McMenamin, Dave (April 27, 2009). "Lakers rally around ailing "insultant" Tex Winter". NBA.com.
- Laker's Guru Winters has apparent stroke; April 25, 2009.
- Topeka Capital-Journal: College Hall to induct Tex; February 24, 2010. accessed on February 25, 2010
- Lopresti, Mike (6 June 2010). "Tex Winter, of triangle offense fame, basks in recognition". USA Today. Retrieved 11 June 2010.