Dr. Jack’s Basketball Legacy

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Courtesy MCT Campus Serivce

Dr. Ramsay congratulates fellow Coach Herb Magee on being inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame (2011).

One of the greatest basketball minds of all time has passed. Dr. Jack Ramsay died Monday April 28th of melanoma at age 89.

Ramsay wasn’t just a basketball coach; he got a doctorate in education and also served in the Navy during world war two. He had coached at the high school level  before becoming the head coach of the St. Joseph’s Hawks in 1955 he led them to their only final four appearance in 1961. He coached the Hawks till 1966. After his stint with St. Joe’s he became the general manager of the Philadelphia 76er’s in 1967 for one year and won the NBA championship with the Wilt Chamberlain being the star of that team. However the next year he became head coach and coached in Philly until 1972.

In 1972 Ramsay took the job as Buffalo Braves head coach(now formally the Los Angeles Clippers) and coached there until 1976. This leads up to his hiring of Ramsay in Portland. In his first season as head coach he led them to the finals with the famous Bill Walton. This was the first time they had made the playoffs  in their six year history. This championship is the only championship the Portland Trail Blazers have ever won. The last team Ramsay coached was the Indiana Pacers from 1986 to 1988.

After that he went into broadcasting for the Miami Heat and the 76er’s. In honor of Dr. Jack Ramsay the Trail Blazers wore plaid patches and there jerseys that said “Dr. Jack 77”. Almost fittingly, in game six the Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard hit a buzzer-beater three to win the series.

Ramsay touched the lives of many but as most say he didn’t do it only through basketball he did it by being a great man.