Bill Fitch Consideration Into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Bill Fitch Consideration Into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

HOF_Fitch_banner

Coaching Accomplishments:

  • 25 Years of NBA Head Coaching experience.
  • Two-time NBA Coach of the Year Award winner (Cleveland Cavaliers 1976’ and Boston Celtics 1980’).
  • Head Coached the 1981 NBA Champion Boston Celtics.
  • Named one of the NBA’s Top 10 Coaches of All-Time in 1997.
  • Recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
  • Upon retirement, First All-Time NBA games coached (presently ranks third).
  • Upon retirement, Second All-Time NBA games won (presently ranks tenth).
  • Inherited the 1979-1980 Boston Celtics (27 wins) and led the 1980-1981 Boston Celtics to 61 wins – the NBA’s biggest year-to-year turnaround in league history.
  • Coach Fitch repeatedly was hired to revitalize ailing franchises, taking every one of them to the NBA playoffs (Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers).
  • Fitch also enjoyed a successful 14-year NCAA coaching career (Creighton University, Coe College, University of North Dakota, and Bowling Green University).
  • Fitch Won the 1968 MAC Championship while at Bowling Green University.
  • Named the 1968 MAC Coach of the Year.
  • Named the 1968 State of Ohio Coach of the Year.
  • Bill Fitch contributed more than wins and losses to professional and collegiate basketball. Affectionately referred to, as “Captain Video” Fitch was one of the first Head Coaches to use videotape and film to analyze opponents and scout talent.
  • Fitch’s contributions to basketball cannot be mentioned without the enormous role he has played in shaping the next generation of NBA Coaches. Bill Fitch’s “coaching tree” extends to Danny Ainge, Butch Beard, Jim Brewer, Larry Bird, Rick Carlisle, Don Chaney, Lester Conner, Lionel Hollins, Eddie Jordan, Kevin McHale, Reggie Theus, Lenny Wilkens, and Phil Jackson.
  • Coach Fitch continually inherited downtrodden NBA franchises and transformed these teams into playoff contenders.
    • Took the expansion Cleveland Cavaliers from a 15-67 NBA Record to three straight Eastern Conference Playoffs, including a 1976 divisional title.
    • Fitch had an even more dramatic success when Red Auerbach hired him to coach the Boston Celtics, a team that had won 27 games the previous season. In his first year with the Celtics, the Celtics won 61 games, the biggest turnaround ever in an NBA season. Fitch led the Celtics to three consecutive 60-win seasons and an NBA Championship in 1981.
    • After leaving the Celtics, Fitch was hired by the Houston Rockets, a perennial loser (winning only 14 games the previous season). Under Fitch’s reign, the Houston Rockets made the playoffs in four out of five years. Fitch also coached the Rockets to a Western Conference Title, reaching the NBA Finals in 1986 before losing to the Boston Celtics.
    • Fitch coached the 17-65 New Jersey Nets (1989-1990) to a 40-win season and playoff appearance in just one year.
    • Fitch also took the 17-65 Los Angeles Clippers (1994-1995) to the Western Conference Playoffs in just one year.
  • Fitch coached the Creighton University Freshman Basketball Team to a 29-1 Record in Three Seasons.