Gene Shue, star player and coach of the year, dies at 90

Gene Shue, two-time NBA coach of the year who won 784 games with the Bullets, 76ers and Clippers, has died. He was 90 years old.

A five-time All-Star as a Pistons player, Shue coached for more than two decades. He took the Baltimore Bullets to the NBA Finals in 1971, then did the same with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1977. He is still the Washington-Baltimore franchise record with 522 wins.

The Wizards and the NBA announced Shue’s death on Monday.

“Gene has dedicated his life to the game and left an indelible mark as a player, head coach and executive,” the league said.

Shue played collegiately at Maryland, where he was named Southern Conference Tournament MVP in 1953, then earned All-ACC honors the following year after the Terrapins joined that league. He was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 1954 draft by the Philadelphia Warriors.

His five All-Star selections came as a member of the Detroit Pistons, and he played a decade in the NBA before moving into coaching. He took over the Bullets in 1966, and he was named coach of the year in 1968-69 when the team went 57-25. In 1971, Baltimore reached the final before losing to Milwaukee.

“We are saddened by the passing of former Bullets head coach Gene Shue, a Baltimore native and the winningest coach in franchise history,” the Wizards said.

Shue resigned after the 1972-73 season, then took over for the 76ers. Philadelphia reached the final in 1977 but lost in six games to Portland.

Shue was fired by the 76ers at the start of the following season and ended up with the San Diego Clippers from 1978 to 1980. When the NBA adopted the 3-pointer in the 1979-80 season, the Clippers led the league in both attempts and long-range field goals.

Shue’s second stint with the Bullets began in 1980, and he took them to the playoffs three more times before being fired in March 1986. His second Coach of the Year award came in 1982.

He returned to the Clippers for his last coaching stop, then became general manager of the 76ers in 1990 and served until 1992.

Shue was inducted into the University of Maryland Hall of Fame in 1991.


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