Bill Blair

Bill Blair (born May 17, 1942)

Teams coached: VMI Keydets, Colorado Buffaloes, New Jersey Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves
VMI record: 47-61 (.435)
Colorado record: 67-69 (.493)
Overall record^: 114-130 (.467)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  1  (1976)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1976)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • SoCon Regular Season Champion:  1  (1976)
  • SoCon Tournament Champion:  1  (1976)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1999-2001 Cleveland Cavaliers (asst)
1996-1997 Indiana Pacers (asst)
1994-1996 Minnesota Timberwolves
1993-1994 Indiana Pacers (asst)
1986-1993 Washington Bullets (asst)
1983-1985 Chicago Bulls (asst)
1983 New Jersey Nets
1981-1983 New Jersey Nets (asst)
1976-1981 Colorado
1972-1976 VMI
1970-1972 VMI (asst)

Bill Blair Facts

  • William Henry Blair, Jr.
  • Born May 17, 1942
  • Hometown: Hazard, Kentucky
  • Alma Mater: Virginia Military Institute (BA, 1964)
  • Originally from Kentucky, Blair graduated from Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia; once scored 49 points in a game
  • Played for head coach Weenie Miller at VMI; helped lead the Keydets to the NCAA Tournament in 1964
    • Drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1964 NBA Draft, but instead joined the US Army
    • Served in Korea and was a player/coach for the 8th Army Division basketball team
  • Started his career as an assistant at E.C. Glass HS (VA), then spent one year as head coach at George Wythe HS (VA)
  • Returned to alma mater VMI in 1970, spending the next two seasons as an assistant under Mike Schuler
  • Took over as head coach in 1972, improving the Keydets from 7 wins in his first season to 22 wins in his fourth
  • Left for Colorado after that, coaching the Buffaloes for five seasons (1976-81)
    • Never reached the postseason, but did finish above .500 in each of his final three seasons
  • Spent the rest of his coaching career in the NBA, first as an assistant under Larry Brown for two seasons with the New Jersey Nets; was interim head coach for the last 6 games of the 1982-83 season, going 2-4, including 0-2 in the Playoffs
  • Worked as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls (under Kevin Loughery), Washington Bullets (under Loughery and Wes Unseld) and Indiana Pacers (under Brown) before becoming the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994
    • Went 21-61 in his only full season (1994-95) and was fired in December 1995 after starting the next season 6-14
  • Had two more coaching stints, working for the Pacers (again under Brown) and Cleveland Cavaliers (under Randy Wittman)

Bill Blair Coaching Tree

  • Jay Humphries (Reno Bighorns, overseas)
  • Stacey King (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  • Charlie Schmaus (VMI)
  • Randy Wittman (Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only