ESPN: Butch van Breda Kolff, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA finals appearances and coached Bill Bradley at Princeton, has died after a long illness.
Van Breda Kolff, 84, died Wednesday afternoon at a nursing home in Spokane, his daughter, Kristina van Breda Kolff, said. His son, Jan, also played professionally and coached at Cornell, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure.
Butch van Breda Kolff posted a 482-272 coaching record in 28 college seasons, and was 287-316 in 10 seasons as an NBA and ABA coach. He took six teams to the NCAA Tournament at a time when tournament berths were much more scarce, and won seven conference titles.
Willem Hendrik van Breda Kolff was born Oct. 28, 1922, in Montclair, N.J. He attended Princeton University, but his college career was interrupted by duty with the Marines in World War II.
He returned from the war to become captain of Princeton’s basketball team in the 1946-47 season. He played professionally for the New York Knicks from 1946-1950.
Van Breda Kolff began his coaching career at Lafayette from 1951-55, and also coached there from 1984-88. He coached Hofstra from 1955-62, and also from 1988-94. He was coach at Princeton from 1962-67, where one of his players was Bill Bradley. He also coached the University of New Orleans from 1977-79.