NEW YORK (Reuters) - John “Jack” Ramsay, a former coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, died on Monday at the age of 89 after a long battle with cancer, the National Basketball Association team said on its Twitter feed.
Ramsay, who coached in the league for two decades and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, led the Trail Blazers to the play-offs nine times in 10 seasons and coached them to their only NBA title in 1977, according to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s website. He was inducted to the Hall in 1992.
Ramsay was born in 1925 and began his coaching career at two Philadelphia-area high schools in 1949. He then moved to the collegiate level at St. Joseph’s College, where his teams appeared in the post season 10 times.
He earned a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania, according to ESPN, where he served as an analyst after retiring from coaching.
“The entire ESPN family is saddened by the loss of our beloved NBA analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “It was our great pleasure to work with Dr. Jack and his energy and zest for life resonated in all that he did. He leaves an amazing legacy of helping fans understand and appreciate the game he loved.”
Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler