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William Hendrik "Butch" Van Breda Kolff

William Hendrik "Butch" Van Breda Kolff (I28599)

Male 1922 - 2007  (84 years)

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  • Name William Hendrik "Butch" Van Breda Kolff  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Relationshipwith Albert Leopold Vitter
    Birth 28 Oct 1922  Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Aft 1951 
    College basketball player at Princeton, professional basketball player for New York Knicks, college basketball coach at Lafayette, Hofstra, Princeton, and UNO, and professional basketball coach of LA Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Tams, New Orleans Jazz, and New Orleans Pride. 
    Residence Hofstra University, Hempstead, Nassau, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Residence Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Death 22 Aug 2007  Spokane, Spokane, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Notes 
    • Butch van Breda Kolff dies; led Lakers to two Finals
      Aug 23, 2007
      Associated Press

      SPOKANE, Wash. -- Butch van Breda Kolff, who coached the
      Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA finals appearances and won 482 games as a college coach, has died after a long illness. He was 84.

      Van Breda Kolff died Wednesday afternoon at a nursing home in
      Spokane, his daughter, Kristina van Breda Kolff, said. His son,
      Jan, also played professionally and coached at Cornell, Vanderbilt,
      Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure.

      Butch van Breda Kolff posted a 482-272 coaching record in 28
      college seasons, and was 287-316 in 10 seasons as an NBA and ABA
      coach. He took six teams to the NCAA tournament at a time when
      tournament berths were much more scarce, and won seven conference
      titles.

      Willem Hendrik van Breda Kolff was born Oct. 28, 1922, in
      Montclair, N.J. He attended Princeton University, but his college
      career was interrupted by duty with the Marines in World War II.
      He returned from the war to become captain of Princeton's
      basketball team in the 1946-47 season. He played professionally for
      the New York Knicks from 1946-1950.

      Van Breda Kolff began his coaching career at Lafayette College
      from 1951-55, and also coached there from 1984-88. He coached
      Hofstra from 1955-62, and also from 1988-94. He was coach at
      Princeton from 1962-67, where one of his players was Bill Bradley.
      He also coached the University of New Orleans from 1977-79.

      In the professional ranks, he coached the Los Angeles Lakers
      from 1967-69, twice taking them to the finals. He also coached the
      Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, the Memphis Tams of the ABA, the New
      Orleans Jazz and the New Orleans Pride of Women's Basketball
      League.

      "Although it was many years ago, and before my ownership of the
      team, Butch van Breda Kolff was an important part of the Lakers'
      success during our early years in Los Angeles," Lakers owner Jerry
      Buss said in a statement issued by the team Thursday. "We're sorry
      to hear of his passing and would like to send our condolences to
      his family and friends."

      As coach of the Lakers, he posted records of 52-30 and 55-27
      with a team that included Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin
      Baylor. They lost to the Boston Celtics both times in the finals.
      He was fired after Chamberlain took himself out of the seventh game
      of the 1969 finals with an injury. Replacement Mel Counts played so
      well that van Breda Kolff declined to put Chamberlain back in, but
      the Lakers ended up losing the title game.

      "I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Butch Van Breda
      Kolff," Baylor, the vice president of basketball operations for
      the Los Angeles Clippers, said in a statement issued Thursday by
      the team. "We had a very good relationship that extended beyond
      the court. Butch enjoyed life and he was always fun to be around.
      He will be missed."

      West called van Breda Kolff "a real basketball purist who
      believed in a team-oriented game."

      "I enjoyed playing for him very much," West said in a
      statement issued by the Lakers. "Not only did I have two of the
      best seasons of my career while he was our coach, but our team
      enjoyed a high level of success as well, even though we
      unfortunately lost to the Celtics in the NBA finals both years.
      "I'm saddened to hear that he's passed away and send my deepest
      sympathies to his family."

      Van Breda Kolff was married to Florence. The couple had two
      other daughters, Karen and Kaatje.
    Person ID I28599  Vitter-Weaver Genealogy
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2023 

    Family ID F55636  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Florence Lillian Smith,   b. 2 Mar 1922, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 8 Feb 2005, Sun City Center, Hillsborough, Florida, USA Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 82 years) 
    Marriage 17 Apr 1945  Morehead City, Carteret, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Children 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Living
     4. Living
    Family ID F20688  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2023 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 28 Oct 1922 - Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 17 Apr 1945 - Morehead City, Carteret, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Hofstra University, Hempstead, Nassau, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 22 Aug 2007 - Spokane, Spokane, Washington, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S1430] Ancestry.com, U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Lehi, UT, USA; Date: 2011;), The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 676.
      U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 Document
      U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 Document
      The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 676


    2. [S1016] Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Lehi, UT, USA; Date: 2019;), Sioux City Journal; Publication Date: 24 Aug 2007; Publication Place: Sioux City, Iowa, United States of America; URL: https://www.newspapers.com/image/337631099/?article=906a9bbc-2ebf-41c9-8618-f5ec2921ec12&focus=0.7161787,0.04174713,0.97276855,0.5934137&.

    3. [S1414] Ancestry.com, U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930-Current, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Lehi, UT, USA; Date: 2006;), Daily Times, The; Publication Place: Farmington, New Mexico, USA; URL: http://www.elpasotimes.com/obituaries/ci_6706679.

    4. [S1131] Ancestry.com, North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2007;), Data Source: North Carolina State Archives.
      North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004 Document
      North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004 Document
      Data Source: North Carolina State Archives




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