Former Bulls, Lakers Coach Fred 'Tex' Winter Dies at Age 96

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, MA - AUGUST 11: Inductee Tex Winter addresses the media at the Press Event as part of the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 11, 2011 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Former NBA and NCAA basketball coach Fred "Tex" Winter died Wednesday at the age of 96 years old, the Chicago Bulls confirmed (h/t ESPN.com).

Kansas State, where Winter spent 15 years as a head coach, provided a tribute to the coach:

The coach spent over 30 years at the college level before moving on to the NBA, notably serving as an assistant coach with the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers under Phil Jackson.

He helped pioneer the triangle offense, which helped Michael Jordan and the Bulls win six championships in the 1990s. Jordan had kind words about Winter Wednesday, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

He was also on staff for three titles with the Lakers. This came after beginning his NBA career with the Houston Rockets, where he produced a 51-78 record in two seasons as a head coach.

Prior to his time at the professional level, Winter was the youngest coach in college basketball when he was hired by Marquette at 30 years old. He moved on to coach for Kansas State, where he took the team to two Final Fours, along with Washington, Northwestern and Long Beach State.

Altogether, Winter produced a 451-336 record across 30 seasons with five different programs.

He was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

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