BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch died Wednesday at age 89.
Over the course of his 25-year career in the NBA, Fitch spent time with five different franchises including the Boston Celtics. Fitch’s arrival to the team coincided with that of Larry Bird and over the next four seasons, Boston’s performance significantly improved.
The team won 60 games in three of Fitch’s four seasons, ultimately leading to their 1981 NBA championship victory against the Houston Rockets. Fitch was also named Coach of the Year for the 1979-80 season.
“Fitch’s deep knowledge of the game, toughness, and dry wit made him a perfect fit for Boston and the Celtics," the team said in statement regarding Fitch’s death. “The Celtics family mourns his loss as we celebrate his legacy."
Fitch was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019 and received the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. According to NBA.com, his death was confirmed by his daughter Marcy Ann Coville.