Butch van Breda Kolff

Butch van Breda Kolff (1922-2007)

Teams coached: Lafayette Leopards, Hofstra Pride, Princeton Tigers, New Orleans Privateers
Lafayette record: 132-85 (.608)
Hofstra record^: 215-134 (.616)
Princeton record: 103-31 (.769)
New Orleans record: 32-22 (.593)
Overall record^: 482-272 (.639)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1988-1994 Hofstra
1984-1988 Lafayette
1979-1981 New Orleans Pride
1977-1979 New Orleans
1974-1977 New Orleans Jazz
1973-1974 Memphis Tams
1972-1973 Phoenix Suns
1969-1972 Detroit Pistons
1967-1969 Los Angeles Lakers
1962-1967 Princeton
1955-1962 Hofstra
1951-1955 Lafayette

Butch van Breda Kolff Facts

  • Willem Hendrik van Breda Kolff
  • Born October 28, 1922
  • Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey
  • Alma Mater: Princeton University (BA, 1943)
  • Played at Princeton for two years under Franklin “Cappy” Cappon after serving in the US Marines during World War II
  • Spent four seasons with the New York Knicks, playing for head coaches Neil Cohalan and Joe Lapchick
  • Became the head coach at Lafayette in 1951, his first of two stints at the school; also spent seven years as the head coach at Hofstra while the program was a Division II member
  • Returned to his alma mater in 1962 to become the head coach of the Princeton Tigers; led the team to the NCAA Final Four in 1965, still the only FF appearance in school history
  • Coached professional basketball teams from 1967-1977, including stints with the Lakers, Pistons and New Orleans Jazz
    • Went to two straight NBA Finals with the Lakers (1968 & 1969), losing both series to the Boston Celtics
    • Finished his NBA coaching career with an overall record of 287-316 (.476) and a playoffs record of 21-12 (.636)
    • Later spent two seasons as the head coach of the New Orleans Pride, a professional women’s basketball team
  • Rejoined the college ranks as the head coach at the University of New Orleans in 1977; later had second stints as the head coach at both Lafayette and Hofstra before retiring in 1994
  • Passed away in August 2007, survived by his wife, son, three daughters and several grandchildren
    • His son, Jan van Breda Kolff, was a longtime professional basketball player and collegiate head coach

Butch van Breda Kolff Coaching Tree


^ overall and Hofstra records include time at both the NCAA Division I and Division II levels; professional records not included in overall tally