Former Kansas State men’s basketball and Hall of Fame coach Fred ‘Tex’ Winter passed away at the age of 96 in Manhattan.
Winter was a long time college basketball coach, and spent time in the National Basketball Association as well. His time as a head coach includes stops at Marquette (1951-53), K-State (1954-1968), Washington (1969-72), a stop in the NBA with the Houston Rockets (1972-74), then back to college at Northwestern (1975-78) and Long Beach State (1978-83).
In total, Winter’s record at the collegiate level was 451-336, while he went 51-78 in his two seasons at the helm with the Rockets.
Before he was the head coach at K-State, Winter was an assistant coach in Manhattan. From 1947-51, he served as an assistant to Jack Gardner. During that time, the Wildcats made it to the Final Four twice.
When he became the head coach at K-State, Winter would become one of the best to lead the Wildcats on the hardwood. From 1954-68, he posted a 261-118 record. His 261 wins are second all-time in program history, while his .689 winning percentage is third all-time.
Winter’s K-State teams won eight Big Seven/Big Eight conference championships, made it to the NCAA Tournament six times and the Final Four twice.
Although Winter had a losing record as a head coach in the NBA, that was not the extent of his impact at the professional level.
Winter was an assistant coach to Phil Jackson both with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. As an assistant with those teams, he was part of 11 NBA Championships— in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998 with the Bulls, and in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009 with the Lakers. He is known as the architect of the “Triangle Offense,” which was instrumental in their success.
In 2010, Winter was inducted into Kansas City’s National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. A year later, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.