Former NBA Coach of the Year Mike Schuler recently died at age 81, according to his family.
Schuler’s family listed June 28 as the date of his death in an obituary in the Arizona Republic. The manner of death wasn’t listed.
Schuler replaced legendary Jack Ramsay as Portland coach and won the NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season when he guided the Trail Blazers to a 49-33 record in the 1986-87 campaign.
The following season, the Trail Blazers went 53-29 but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight season. He was fired with a 25-22 mark during the 1988-89 season.
Terry Porter, a star player with the Trail Blazers, played for Schuler and later had him on his staff when he coached the Milwaukee Bucks from 2003-05.
“I had the pleasure of being both coached by Mike and coaching alongside him later in my career,” Porter said in a statement released through the Trail Blazers. “Mike was a terrific coach and had a great intensity about his coaching style with a focus on bringing out the best in his players. From a colleague standpoint, I was extremely grateful to have him on my coaching staff to share his experience, knowledge and kindness with me.”
Schuler also coached the Los Angeles Clippers for 1 1/2 seasons, compiling a 52-75 record. His overall NBA head coaching record was 179-159.
Schuler also served as a college coach at VMI (13-63 from 1969-72) and Rice (30-76 from 1977-81).
Schuler played college basketball at Ohio University from 1959-61 and was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2014.
–Field Level Media