Winter Named to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Legendary coach Tex Winter was honored prior to the Virginia Tech game on Nov. 16 for his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

April 4, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former Kansas State head basketball coach Tex Winter was among 10 individuals announced Monday to the 2011 class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Winter, who led the Wildcats to 261 wins and eight conference titles from 1954-68, was joined in the 2011 Hall of Fame induction class with former four-time Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards; ABA/NBA legend Artis Gilmore; all-time NCAA wins leader Herb Magee; NBA star and 1992 Dream Team member Chris Mullin; five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman; European star Arvydas Sabonis; eight-time NBA champion Tom Sanders; former Harlem Globetrotter Reese Tatum and four-time NCAA women’s coach of the year Tara VanDerveer.  The announcement was made at a press conference in Houston at the men’s Final Four.


“We are pleased to welcome these 10 electees who will join the greatest in the game and take their rightful place in Springfield as a Hall of Famer,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.


Winter is the third person with K-State ties to be named to the Naismith Hall of Fame, following his coaching mentor Jack Gardner, who was elected in 1984, and former player Bob Boozer, who was a part of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team elected in 2010.  Gardner led the Wildcats to 147 wins and two Final Four appearances in two stints as head coach from 1939-42 and 1946-53.  This is the second honor that Winter has received from the Naismith Hall of Fame, as he was selected as the 1998 winner of the John Bunn Award for lifetime achievement.


This is Winter’s fourth such induction into a Hall of Fame, as he was selected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame last fall to go with his previous inclusion in the state of Kansas and Kansas State University Sports Hall of Fames.


To be elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame, finalists require 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee.  Winter was named for the honor by the North American committee. 


“The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 is a true global representation of the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Board.  “These distinguished players and coaches have made an impact at all levels worldwide and they have motivated, taught and inspired future generations to succeed both on and off the court.”


The Class of 2011 will be enshrined during a week of events culminating on Friday, Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass., followed by a special ceremony at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday, Aug. 13.  Ticket packages to the ceremony as well as all enshrinement events are on sale now and available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231.5550.  Additional information can be found at


A renowned basketball innovator credited with the triangle offense, Winter led the Wildcats to a 261-118 (.689) record from 1954 to 1968, which included eight Big Seven/Eight Conference titles, five Big Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament crowns and six trips to the NCAA Tournament.  His 261 wins rank second all-time in school history behind Jack Hartman’s 295, while he is second in NCAA Tournament victories (seven) and 20-win seasons (five).    Winter’s .689 winning percentage ranks third in school history behind Zora Clevenger (.761; 1916-20) and E.A. Knoth (.700; 1920-21).  He also laid claim to more conference titles (eight) than any other head coach in the program’s history, while his teams finished among the Top 20 nationally nine times in his 15 seasons, including No. 1 in both polls in 1958-59.  He is the only person to be affiliated with all four of K-State’s Final Four teams (1948, 1951, 1959 and 1964).


A native of Huntington Park, Calif., Winter began his coaching career as the first full-time assistant at K-State for Gardner from 1947-51.  Like Gardner, he graduated from the University of Southern California [in 1947], where he learned the triangle offense from Sam Barry.  An All-American pole vaulter for the Trojans, he became the youngest coach in the nation at Marquette in 1951, guiding the Warriors to the National Catholic Championship in his first season.  He replaced Gardner as K-State head coach in 1953 after his departure to Utah.


There were several outstanding teams under Winter, two of which advanced to the Final Four.  He won four consecutive conference championships from 1957 to 1961, including earning the school’s first No. 1 ranking during the 1957-58 season, while he won back-to-back crowns in 1962-64 and then another in his final season in 1967-68.  The 1957-58 squad, anchored by All-Americans Bob Boozer and Jack Parr, lost just three games in the regular season, advancing to the school’s third Final Four.  The Wildcats lost to Seattle and Temple in the Final Four. 


Spearheaded by the play of Boozer, the 1958-59 squad was ranked among the nation’s Top 5 all season and spent numerous weeks as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team before falling in the Midwest Regional Finals to No. 5 Cincinnati.  The squad won a still school-record 25 games and went a perfect 14-0 in Big Eight play for the first and only time in school history.  Then, in 1964, the Wildcats charged back to the Final Four, knocking off Texas-El Paso and No. 5 Wichita State in the Midwest Regional before being eliminated by eventual champion UCLA, 90-84. 


Winter coached two All-Americans, including the school’s first and only two-time consensus first team All-American in Bob Boozer, while he guided 11 players to all-conference selection.  He was named National Coach of the Year by United Press International (UPI) in 1958, while he was selected as conference Coach of the Year for three consecutive years from 1957-60.


Following his departure from K-State in 1968, Winter served shorter stints as head coach at Washington (1969-72), the NBA’s Houston Rockets (1972-74), Northwestern (1975-78) and Long Beach State (1978-83).  In total, he won 454 games at the collegiate level.  He went 51-78 during his two-year stint with the Rockets.


In 1985, Winter started another chapter of his life, serving as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls under fellow Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Phil Jackson, and teaching the triangle offense to one of the all-time greats, Michael Jordan.  He was hired to the position by General Manager Jerry Krause, an old friend he had met while at K-State.  As an assistant to Jackson, who took over as the Bulls’ head coach in 1989, he was an integral part of the Bulls’ NBA championships in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998.  He followed Jackson to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he collected four additional championship rings in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009.  He retired from basketball following the Lakers’ 2010 championship.


Winter earned a reputation as one of the most creative offensive coaches in the land, and in 1962, published a book on the offense entitled The Triple-Post Offense.