Learning to coach by Red Auerbach
Hall of Fame Coach compiled a stunning 938-479
Learning to Coach by Red Auerbach
Hall of Fame Coach compiled a stunning 938-479
Born in Brooklyn on September 20 1917 and named Arnold Jacob
Auerbach. His Russian immigrant father played a major role in
encouraging him to receive a first class education in the years
following the Great Depression. Nick named Red during his youth,
Auerbach played guard during his years at Eastern District High
School in Brooklyn and at George Washington University.
Soon after, the 5 feet 10 inch Auerbach coached high school
basketball in the Washington DC area using a new fast break style
of play taught to him by his high school coach, Bill Reinhart.
‘I’ll always credit my high school coach, Bill Reinhart,
for my successful pro basketball career. I learned the value
of hard aggressive team work and was the first to use the
fast break style in professional play in the NBA,’ said Red
‘Indeed I was able to use Bob Cousy, KC Jones and Sam Jones
quickness along with the tall Bill Russell to dominate the
NBA during the 1960s. I always felt a coach needed a sparkplug
on offensive and defense to win at any level of play.
Former Boston Celtic star John Havlicek, NBA Hall of Fame
forward, once said,’ Red Auberbach greatest talent was knowing
how to handle men and how to react to any game situation. He
would curse us, coddle us, maybe even engage us. Anything he
thought would make us perform better.’
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Coach Red Auerbach
Pioneering head coach leads Boston Celtics
Coach of the Washington Capitals 1946-1949; Tri-Cities
Blackhawks of Illinois 1949-1950; Boston Celtics 1950-1965;
General Manager of Boston Celtics 1966-1985; President of
Boston Celtics 1986-2006 and US Navy 1943-1945
A powerful force as a pioneering coach in NBA basketball history,
Red Auerbach led the Boston Celtics to 9 NBA championships,
including a record setting eight straight from 1959-1966. In all
Red Auerbach collected 16 NBA Titles for Boston counting
his seven as general manager and president.
After coaching several high schools in the Washington DC area
Red Auerbach proudly served in the United States Navy, 1943-1945,
during World War II.
Auerbach started his pro coaching career in 1946-1947 with the
now defunct Washington Capitals of the Basketball Association of
America, a league that later became the NBA (National Basketball
Association). He guided the Washington Capitals to a sterling
49-11 regular season record, winning the Eastern Division Title.
However the Philadelphia Warriors captured the BAA Crown.
After three seasons Red Auerbach took a coaching job in Illinois
for The Tri Cities Blackhawks 1949-50.
A year later Walter Brown, the owner of the Boston Celtics,
signed Red Auerbach as head coach. In 1966 after 20 years as head
coach, the last 16 with the Celtics, he turned the head coaching duties
to star center Bill Russell and became the Celtics general manager.
Three years later, 1969, he was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame
and in 1980 was named the Greatest Coach in history of the NBA by
the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America. As a
coach Red Auberach retired with a then win loss record of 938-479.
Pro Basketball History by basketballhistorian.com
A Master at Winning – Red Auerbach
Boston Celtics Basketball History
Although coach Red Auberach wasn’t well received by
Boston fans and media when back in 1950 he took over a
struggling Boston Celtics basketball team, he gained their
support when his teams ‘kept winning and winning.’
‘Red Auerbach had the greatest of ears,’ legendary center Bill
Russell told the USA Today in 2004. ‘After he talked to players
four times, he knew how to communicate with him. And that’s
important. And you can’t treat everyone the same. If you
treated everyone the same, they’d all get the same salary.’
Russell continued, ‘Each year after I got in shape, Red didn’t
have me scrimmage anymore. He said he’s not going to
play me 46 minutes a game and wear me out in practice, too.
So when we started scrimmaging, I’d go sit on the scorer’s
table and drink tea.’
Win He Did!
Red Auberach posted a career record of 938 wins and 479
losses as a professional coach, 1946-1966. His Boston Celtics
teams won 9 NBA championships, including a record eight in
a row, from 1959-1966.
Well Listen Up Fans!
Here was Red Auerbach’s game plan!
A great judge of talent and desire, he choose players who would
respond to his style of coaching. He blended his players into
quick and defensively aggressive teams.
The Boston Celtics won their 1st NBA championship in 1957
led by center Bill Russell, fast break guard Bill Cousy and
Ed Macauley, a frontcourt shot maker.
Well known for his aggressive on-court antics, Red Auerbach
arguably fought with the referees. He yelled and charged them
with a rolled up game program and once when referees Mendy
Rudolph and Sid Borgia slapped 3 technical fouls on him and
Auerbach responded by ordering his team off the floor – and this
was during an exhibition game.
In 1957 Red Auerbach so angered ST Louis Hawks owner,
Ben Kerner, when the Celtics measured the height of the
basketballs to make sure they were within regulation size
that Kerner charged Auerbach. Red won that argument by
punching the Hawks owner squarely in his mouth.
His trademark was an unlit cigar sticking out of his mouth. He
seemed delighted to enrage opposing owners, coaches and
players when he lit his victory cigar in the closing moments of
a game the Celtics had already put away. Some opposing
players were quoted as saying ‘they didn’t care about the
NBA championship; they just wanted to squash Red Auerbach’s
Auerbach’s Celtics won six NBA titles after he took over the helm
of general manager, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981 and 1984. He
corralled Indiana State star forward, Larry Bird, by exploiting a
little followed loophole to draft Bird after finishing his junior
year at Indiana State.
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