Monday, December 5, 2016

Butch Van Breda Kolff

Willem Hendrik "Butch" Van Breda Kolff

October 28, 1922
Glen Ridge, NJ

August 22, 2007
Spokane, WA

1938-39 The Hill School - Pottstown, PA (High School)
1939-40 The Hill School - Pottstown, PA (High School)
1940-41 The Hill School - Pottstown, PA (High School)
1941-42 Princeton University (College) Freshmen
1942-43 Princeton University (College)
1944-45 Princeton University (College)
1945-46 Princeton University (College)
1946-47 New York Knicks (BAA)
1947-48 New York Knicks (BAA)
1948-49 New York Knicks (BAA)
1949-50 New York Knicks (NBA)
1950-51 Wilkes-Barre Barons (ABL)
1951-52 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1952-53 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1953-54 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1954-55 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1955-56 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1956-57 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1957-58 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1958-59 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1959-60 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1960-61 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1961-62 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1962-63 Princeton University (College) Head coach
1963-64 Princeton University (College) Head coach
1964-65 Princeton University (College) Head coach
1965-66 Princeton University (College) Head coach
1966-67 Princeton University (College) Head coach 
1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) Head coach
1968-69 Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) Head coach
1969-70 Detroit Pistons (NBA) Head coach
1970-71 Detroit Pistons (NBA) Head coach
1971-72 Detroit Pistons (NBA) Head coach
1972-73 Phoenix Suns (NBA) Head coach
1973-74 Memphis Tams (ABA) Head coach
1974-75 New Orleans Jazz (NBA) Head coach
1975-76 New Orleans Jazz (NBA) Head coach
1976-77 New Orleans Jazz (NBA) Head coach  
1977-78 University of New Orleans (College) Head coach
1978-79 University of New Orleans (College) Head coach
1979-80 New Orleans Pride (Women's Pro Basketball League) Head coach
1980-81 New Orleans Pride (Women's Pro Basketball League) Head coach
1983-84 Picayune Memorial High School - Mississippi (High School) Head coach
1984-85 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1985-86 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1986-87 Lafayette College (College) Head coach
1987-88 Lafayette College (College) Head coach 
1988-89 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1989-90 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1990-91 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1991-92 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1992-93 Hofstra University (College) Head coach
1993-94 Hofstra University (College) Head coach

Born in New Jersey, Van Breda Kolff attended Princton with a break in his education to serve with the USMC during World War 2. A successful professional basketball player for the Knicks, Butch wound up on of the more prolific coaches in the game's history at both the professional and collegiate level. One of the more fiery coaches of his time, he was known for his tough approach and demeanor on the sidelines. He is the only head coach to lead his team to the NCAA Final Four (Princeton) and the NBA finals (L.A. Lakers). Except for a brief hiatus in the early 80's, he coached the game continuously from 1951 to 1994 before finally retiring.

Butch died in 2007 following a battle with Parkinson's Disease and pneumonia. He and his wife, Florence (whom he left in 1977 because of his deisre to be alone), had three daughters and a son, Jan, who also played in the NBA.

New Netherland Institute
Sports Illustrated - February 20, 1984
Hofstra University


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