William "Red" Holzman (August 10, 1920 – November 13, 1998) was an
NBA basketballplayer and coach probably best known as the head coachof the New York Knicksfrom 1967 to 1982. Holzman helped lead the Knicks to two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973, and was elected into the Basketball Hall of Famein 1985.
Brooklyn, New York in 1920, Holzman grew up in that borough's Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood and played basketball for Franklin K. Lane High Schoolin the mid-1930s. He attended the University of Baltimoreand later the City College of New York, where he played for two years until graduation in 1942. Holzman joined the United States Navyin the same year, and played on the Norfolk, VirginiaNaval Base team for two years.
Holzman was discharged from the Navy in 1945 and subsequently joined the NBL
Rochester Royals, which won the NBL championship in Holzman's first season. Holzman was Rookie of the Year in 1944-45. In 1945-46 and 1947-48 he was on the NBL's first All League team; in the interim year he was on its second team. [http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:4RgyWTilxa8J:www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Arena/6925/nbl.html+red+holtzman+rochester&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us] Holzman stayed with the team through their move to the NBA and subsequent NBA championship in 1951. In 1953, Holzman left the Royals and joined the Milwaukee Hawksas a player-coach, eventually retiring as a player in 1954 but continuing as the team's head coach. During the 1956–1957 season, Holzman led the Hawks (then in St. Louis, Missouri) to 19 losses during their first 33 games, and was subsequently fired.
In 1957, Holzman became a scout for the
New York Knicksfor ten years ending in 1967, whereupon he became the team's head coach for the most part until 1982. [Ira Berkow, "New York Times", November 15, 1998.] (Holzman's former player, Willis Reed, replaced him as Knicks head coach in 1977, but Holzman returned near the start of the 1978–1979 season.) During this 15-year span as Knicks' coach, Holzman won a total of 613 games, including two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.
In 1969, Holzman coached the Knicks to a then-NBA record 18 game win streak, breaking the 17-game record first set back in 1946. For his efforts leading up to the Knicks' 1970 championship win, Holzman was named the NBA Coach of the Year for that year. He was one of very few individuals to have won an NBA championship as both player and coach. As a coach, his final record was 696 wins and 604 losses. In 1985, he was elected into the
Basketball Hall of Fame. The New York Knickshave retired the number 613 in his honor, equaling the amount of wins he accumulated as head coach.
He lived with his wife in a home they bought in
Cedarhurst, New Yorkin the 1950s. Following his lengthy NBA coaching career, Holzman was diagnosed with leukemiaand died at Long Island Jewish Medical Centerin New Hyde Park, New Yorkin 1998. [Berkow, Ira. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E7DB1031F936A25752C1A96E958260 "Red Holzman, Hall of Fame Coach, Dies at 78"] , " The New York Times", November 15, 1998. Accessed September 15, 2008. "He and his wife bought a house in Cedarhurst, N.Y., in the Five Towns section of Long Island in the 1950's, and stayed there all their lives, raising Gail, their only child in a 55-year marriage."]
* [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Holzman.htm William "Red" Holzman] , from the
Basketball Hall of Fame
* [http://www.hickoksports.com/biograph/holzmanred.shtml "Red" (William) Holzman] , biography from HickokSports.com
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