Gene Shue, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year who won 784 games with the Bullets, 76ers and Clippers, has died. He was 90.
A five-time All-Star as a player for the Pistons, Shue went on to coach 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 record holder for the Washington-Baltimore franchise with 522 victories.
“Gene 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 the top player at the Southern Conference Tournament in 1953, then earned All-ACC honors the following year after the Terrapins joined that league. He was taken 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 transitioning to 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 Finals 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 the 76ers. Philadelphia reached the Finals in 1977 but lost in six games to Portland.
Shue was fired by the 76ers early the following season and ended up with the San Diego Clippers from 1978-80. When the NBA adopted the 3-pointer in the 1979-80 season, the Clippers led the league in both attempts and field goals from long distance.
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 went back to the Clippers for his final coaching stop, then became general manager of the 76ers in 1990 and served until 1992.
Shue was inducted into University of Maryland’s Hall of Fame in 1991.