Bill Musselman

Bill Musselman (1940-2000)

Teams coached: Ashland Eagles, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, South Alabama Jaguars
Ashland record^: 129-30 (.811)
Minnesota record: 68-31 (.687) **
South Alabama record: 35-22 (.614)
Overall record^: 232-83 (.737) **

Career Accomplishments:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1997-2000 Portland Trail Blazers (asst)
1995-1997 South Alabama
1993-1994 Rochester Renegade
1988-1991 Minnesota Timberwolves
1987-1988 Albany Patroons
1984-1987 Tampa Bay/Rapid City Thrillers
1983-1984 Sarasota Stingers
1982 Cleveland Cavaliers
1981-1982 Cleveland Cavaliers (DPP)
1980-1981 Cleveland Cavaliers
1978-1979 Reno Bighorns
1975-1976 Virginia Squires
1975 San Diego Sails
1971-1975 Minnesota
1965-1971 Ashland

Bill Musselman Facts

  • William Clifford Musselman
  • Born August 13, 1940
  • Died May 5, 2000
  • Hometown: Wooster, Ohio
  • Alma Mater: Wittenberg College (BA, 1962)
  • Played for head coach Ray Mears at Wittenberg College (now University) in Springfield, Ohio
  • Started his coaching career at Kent State HS (OH), spending one year as head coach at the age of just 23
  • Hired as an assistant football and basketball coach at Ashland University (OH), but was quickly elevated to head basketball coach
  • Left Ashland for Minnesota in 1971, coaching the Golden Gophers for the next four seasons
    • Won the Big Ten title in his first year and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, but the NCAA appearance was later vacated
    • After Musselman left in 1975, it was found that more than 100 rule violations had been committed during his tenure
  • Spent the next 20 years coaching in the professional ranks, with stints in the ABA, CBA, WBA and NBA
    • Coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for parts of 2 seasons and was the first-ever head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Was CBA Coach of the Year in 1987 (with Rapid City) and 1988 (with Albany)
  • Returned to the college ranks in 1995, spending two years as the head coach at South Alabama
  • Left for the NBA after the 1996-97 season, spending three years on Mike Dunleavy‘s staff with the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Diagnosed with primary systemic amyloidosis in April 2000 and passed away the following month at the age of 59
    • Survived by two sons and one daughter
    • One son, Eric Musselman, has been a head coach at the CBA, NBA and NCAA levels (currently at Arkansas)

Bill Musselman Coaching Tree

  • Randy Ayers (Philadelphia 76ers, Ohio State)
  • Scott Brooks (Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Tyrone Corbin (Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz)
  • Bill Laimbeer (Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty, Detroit Shock)
  • Sidney Lowe (NC State, Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Sam Mitchell (Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors)
  • Tod Murphy (Gordon College)
  • Eric Musselman (Arkansas, Nevada, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors)
  • Scott Roth (Iowa Wolves, Bakersfield Jam)
  • Flip Saunders (Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons
  • Tom Thibodeau (New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls)
  • Joby Wright (Wyoming, Miami OH)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels only

** Listed records and accomplishments for this coach do not include wins or appearances later vacated by the NCAA