The NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers community mourn the death of Hall of Fame Coach Bill Fitch. Fitch passed away Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at the age of 89.
In his 25-year head coaching career, he won 944 games, 11th all-time, and coached many teams into playoff contention. As a result, he was named NBA coach of the year in 1976 and again in 1980. In addition, Bill was named an NBA All-Star head coach in 1982.
Coach Fitch coached the Cavaliers from 1970 in their inaugural season to 1979 and was the longest-tenured head coach in team history. The Cavs struggled early on as with any new expansion team, but in the 1975-76 season, Fitch coached the team to a 49-win season to win the Central Division. Furthermore, the Cavs went on to advance to the second round in the playoffs, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in six games.
Fitch led the Cavs to two more playoff berths in the following seasons before finally resigning from the coaching position after the 1978-79 season.
Besides the Cavs, Coach Fitch coached the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets, and the Los Angeles Clippers. As the Celtics head coach, Fitch led the Celtics to a 1981 NBA Championship.
Fitch retired from the NBA in 1998 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
Coach Bill played a foundational role in the Cavs organization. He has always had the respect and love from the Cavs front office, throughout the organization and the fan base.
He will truly be missed.
Photo Courtesy of Cleveland.com