Fred Schaus

Fred Schaus (1925-2010)

Teams coached: West Virginia Mountaineers, Los Angeles Lakers, Purdue Boilermakers
West Virginia record: 146-37 (.798)
Purdue record: 105-59 (.640)
Overall record^: 251-96 (.723)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1972-1978 Purdue
1960-1967 Los Angeles Lakers
1954-1960 West Virginia

Fred Schaus Facts

  • Frederick Appleton Schaus
  • Born June 30, 1925
  • Died February 10, 2010
  • Hometown: Newark, Ohio
  • Alma Mater: West Virginia University (BA, 1949)
  • Played for head coach Lee Patton at West Virginia; was the first Mountaineer to score 1,000+ career points
    • Selected in the 3rd round of the 1949 NBA Draft by the Fort Wayne Pistons
    • Played three years with the Pistons and one with the New York Knicks (for head coach Joe Lapchick)
  • Returned to alma mater West Virginia in 1954, spending the next six seasons as the head basketball coach
    • Had an incredibly successful tenure at WVU, winning six SoCon Tournaments and five SoCon titles
    • Won 25+ games in each of his last four seasons (after 19 and 21 wins in the first two, respectively)
      • Did not lose any SoCon games from 2/4/1956 until 1/30/1960 (44 straight victories)
    • The 1958-59 Mountaineers went 29-5 overall and finished as the NCAA Runner-up (lost to Cal)
  • Coached Team USA to a gold medal at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago
  • Left WVU in 1960 to become the head coach of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers
    • Reuniting with his former WVU star player Jerry West, Schaus coached the Lakers for seven seasons
    • Was 315-245 (.563) overall, winning four Western Conference titles and reaching the Playoffs each year
    • Made a move to the Lakers’ front office in 1967 spending the next five years as the team’s GM
      • Led a rebuild of the Lakers’ franchise that would go on to win its first NBA Championship in 1972
  • Became the head coach at Purdue in 1972, returning to the college ranks after 12 years in the NBA
    • Hired by former head coach turned athletic director George King, Schaus’ former assistant at WVU
    • Went 105-59 in six seasons at Purdue, winning the 1974 NIT title and reaching the 1977 NCAA Tournament
      • Schaus became the first coach to reach the NBA Finals and both the NCAA and NIT title games
  • Hired in 1981 to be the athletic director at West Virginia, a role he held until retiring in 1989
  • The Newark, Ohio-native was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007
  • Died in Morgantown in 2010 at the age of 84; survived by his wife, Barbara, and their two sons, Jim and John

Fred Schaus Coaching Tree

  • Elgin Baylor (New Orleans Jazz)
  • Joedy Gardner (Northern Arizona, West Virginia)
  • Walt Hazzard (UCLA)
  • George King (Purdue, West Virginia)
  • Jim King (Tulsa)
  • Bobby “Slick” Leonard (Indiana Pacers, Baltimore Bullets)
  • Kyle Macy (Morehead State)
  • Don Nelson (Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Frank Selvy (Furman)
  • Jerry West (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Wayne Yates (Northwestern State, Memphis State)


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