Holzman in the 1970s
|Born||August 10, 1920|
|Died||November 13, 1998 (aged 78)|
New Hyde Park, New York
|Listed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Franklin K. Lane|
(New York City, New York)
|1953–1957||Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks|
|1957–1967||New York Knicks (assistant)|
|1963–1967||Leones de Ponce|
|New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as coach|
William "Red" Holzman (August 10, 1920 – November 13, 1998) was an American professional basketball player and coach. He is probably best known as the head coach of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1967 to 1982. Holzman helped lead the Knicks to two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986. In 1996, Holzman was named one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History.
Born in Brooklyn (or according to some sources, in Lower East Side), New York in 1920, to Jewish immigrant parents, as the son of a Romanian mother and Russian father. Holzman grew up in Brooklyn'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 till he was discharged from the Navy in 1945.
- Source: Basketball-Reference.com.
After the Navy, Holzman joined the NBL Rochester Royals, which won the NBL championship in Holzman's first season, and he was named 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. 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. He then became a scout for the New York Knicks for the next ten years, till 1967, whereupon he became the team's head coach for the most part until 1982. 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 won his second NBA championship as the Knicks won the 1973 NBA Finals against the Lakers. 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. At the time of his retirement in 1982, he had the second most career victories as a head coach in NBA history.
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 is also a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
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. Just before Coach Holzman died a clock tower was erected in his honor at the intersection of Central Avenue and Cedarhurst Avenue in Cedarhurst, New York as part of “Operation Downtown” a project started by Nassau County Presiding Officer Bruce Blakeman and Cedarhurst Mayor Andy Parise.
BAA/NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Won an NBA championship|
- Source: Basketball Reference.
Head coaching record
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Playoffs||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Milwaukee Hawks||1953–54||26||10||16||.385||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|
- Source: Basketball Reference
- "Top 10 Coaches in NBA History". NBA.com. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
- Red Holzman. Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Berkow, Ira (November 15, 1998). "Red Holzman, Hall of Fame Coach, Dies at 78". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- "Holzman, William | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
- 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.
- Dimitry, Steve (1998). "Extinct Sports Leagues: National Basketball League (1937–1949)". Archived from the original on August 18, 2005.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 18, 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Dadhania, Vivek (May 10, 2019). "On This Date: Knicks win the 1973 NBA Finals". Knicks Film School. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
- "William "Red" Holzman". www.jewishsports.net. Retrieved 8 August 2020.