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Tex Winter

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Biography

  • Birthdate: Feburary 25, 1922
  • Hometown: Huntington Park, California

Coaching Career

Morice Fredrick “Tex” Winter is a successful American basketball coach and innovator of the triangle offense. Tex Winter attended Huntington Park High School and went on to graduate from the University of Southern California in 1947, where he learned the triangle offense from Sam Barry. Winter immediately entered the coaching profession as an assistant to Hall of Famer Jack Gardner at Kansas State University. He would stay in coaching for the next 57 consecutive years.

In 1952, Winter began a two-year stint as head coach at Marquette University, becoming the youngest coach in major college basketball. His two-year record was 25-25, with his best season coming in 1952-53, when Marquette finished with a 13-11 record.

In 1954 Winter returned to Kansas State as head coach of new point-guard, Juan “Pachin” Vicens (named “Best Basketball Player in the World” at 1959 Mundobasket in Santiago de Chile). Winter served as Kansas State's head coach for the following 15 years, posting a 262-117 (.691) record, winning eight Big Eight Conference titles, and advancing to two Final Fours. Winter was named the national Coach of the Year in 1958. In 1962, Winter also literally published the book on the triangle offense – the offense which he utilized with such success at Kansas State – entitled The Triple-Post Offense. Following his departure from K-State, Winter served shorter stints as head coach at the University of Washington, 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, 1972–1974, posting a 51-78 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 was 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.

Honors

Winter is a member of several halls of fame, and he was awarded the John Bunn Award for lifetime achievement from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. However, although Winter has been on the final ballot for the Basketball Hall of Fame six times, he has not yet been accorded this honor.


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