Bill Blair (basketball)

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Bill Blair
Personal information
Born (1942-05-17) May 17, 1942 (age 76)
Hazard, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Randolph-Macon Academy
(Front Royal, Virginia)
College VMI (1961–1964)
NBA draft 1964 / Round: 14 / Pick: 97th overall
Selected by the St. Louis Hawks
Coaching career 1967–2001
Career history
As coach:
1967–1969 E.C. Glass HS (assistant)
1969–1970 George Wythe HS
1970–1972 VMI (assistant)
1972–1976 VMI
1976–1981 Colorado
1981–1983 New Jersey Nets (assistant)
1983 New Jersey Nets
1983–1985 Chicago Bulls (assistant)
1986–1991 Washington Bullets (assistant)
1991–1993 Indiana Pacers (assistant)
1993–1995 Minnesota Timberwolves
1996–1998 Indiana Pacers (assistant)
1999–2001 Cleveland Cavaliers (assistant)

William Henry Blair Jr. (born May 17, 1942[1]) is an American retired basketball coach. Blair worked twenty seasons in the National Basketball Association, beginning in New Jersey with the New Jersey Nets, and continuing to the Chicago Bulls, under Kevin Loughery, helping to draft Michael Jordan. He then moved to the Washington Bullets under Wes Unseld, and next the Indiana Pacers under Larry Brown—coaching spectacular teams with Reggie Miller at the helm. In 1993, he became the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, then went back to the Pacers, and finally finished his career under Randy Whitman (current Washington Wizards coach) at the Cleveland Cavaliers.[2]

Blair is a 1960 graduate of Randolph-Macon Academy where he starred on the best basketball team the school ever had.[citation needed] He made the starting 5 as a sophomore and was the high scorer his senior year in a season when they lost only one game which he and three other starters missed. When next they played the same school they doubled their opponent's point total.[citation needed] He scored 49 points in one game which is the school record. He played college ball at VMI where he led them to their first NCAA appearance in 32 years as their high scorer. In 1964 Blair was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the 14th round.[3] While in the Army serving in Korea, he played AND coached the 8th Army Division team which won the Korean championship and the Asian-Pacific Championship in Okinawa. He toured with the Army All Star team.[citation needed]

After two stints at Virginia high schools, he went back to VMI as an assistant, then a head coach. Blair led the Keydets to an NCAA tournament berth and an Elite 8 appearance.[4] After a five-year stint with the Colorado Buffaloes, he moved on to the NBA. He is now retired and enjoying life with his family.

Head coaching record[edit]


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
VMI Keydets (Southern Conference) (1972–1976)
1972–73 VMI 7–19 3–9 8th
1973–74 VMI 6–18 3–9 7th
1974–75 VMI 13–13 6–6 T–4th
1975–76 VMI 22–10 9–3 1st NCAA Elite 8
VMI: 48–60 21–27
Colorado Buffaloes (Big Eight Conference) (1976–1981)
1976–77 Colorado 11–16 5–9 6th
1977–78 Colorado 9–18 3–11 8th
1978–79 Colorado 14–13 4–10 8th
1979–80 Colorado 17–10 7–7 5th
1980–81 Colorado 16–12 5–9 6th
Colorado: 67–69 24–46
Total: 115–129

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion



Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New Jersey 1982–83 6 2 4 .333 3rd in Atlantic L New York 0-2
Minnesota 1994–95 82 21 61 .256 6th in Midwest Missed playoffs
Minnesota 1995–96 20 6 14 .300 (fired)
Career 108 29 79 .269


  1. ^ Marcus, Jeff (28 April 2003). Biographical Directory of Professional Basketball Coaches. Scarecrow press. ISBN 9781461726531. 
  2. ^ Bill Blair – Basketball-Reference
  3. ^ 1964 NBA Draft
  4. ^ a b 2013–14 VMI Basketball Fact Book
  5. ^ Colorado Buffaloes – All-time Results Archived 2014-07-03 at the Wayback Machine.