Jack McKinney

Jack McKinney (1935-2018)

Teams coached: Philadelphia Textile, Saint Joseph’s Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Kansas City Kings
Saint Joseph’s record: 142-77 (.648)
Overall record^: 142-77 (.648)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  4  (1969, 1971, 1973, 1974)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  1  (1972)
  • Middle Atlantic Regular Season Champion:  4  (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974)


  • NBA Coach of the Year:  1  (1981)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1984 Kansas City Kings
1980-1984 Indiana Pacers
1979 Los Angeles Lakers
1976-1979 Portland Trail Blazers (asst)
1974-1976 Milwaukee Bucks (asst)
1966-1974 Saint Joseph’s
1965-1966 Philadelphia Textile
1960-1965 Saint Joseph’s (asst)

Jack McKinney Facts

  • John Paul McKinney
  • Born July 13, 1935
  • Died September 25, 2018
  • Hometown: Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Alma Mater: Saint Joseph’s University (BA, 1957)
  • Graduated from St. James HS (PA), where he played several years under head coach Jack Ramsay
    • Went on to play at Saint Joseph’s, where Ramsay had become the head coach in 1954, for three seasons
  • Returned to alma mater St. James HS in 1959 as head basketball coach, serving in that capacity for one year
  • Spent five years working as an assistant coach under Ramsay at Saint Joseph’s, a tenure which included the Hawks’ (later vacated) 1961 NCAA Final Four appearance
  • Was the head coach at Division II Philadelphia Textile (now Jefferson University) for one season
  • Replaced Ramsay as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s in 1966, coaching the Hawks for eight seasons
    • Won 142 games during that tenure, claiming four Middle Atlantic titles and appearing in four NCAA Tournaments
    • Fired after the 1973-74 season, despite going 19-11 and reaching the NCAA Tournament
  • Moved up to the NBA ranks, spending the next five years as an assistant coach – first in Milwaukee under Larry Costello and then in Portland under Ramsay
    • Was a member of the Trail Blazers’ staff when the team won the 1976-77 NBA Championship
  • Became an NBA head coach in 1979, briefly leading the LA Lakers before a bicycle injury caused McKinney to fall into a coma
    • Coached the Indiana Pacers for four full seasons, leading them to their first ever NBA playoff appearance in 1981 and earning NBA Coach of the Year honors
    • After four full years in Indiana, McKinney briefly coached the Kansas City Kings
    • Had a 136-215 overall record across all three coaching tenures
  • His book, Jack McKinney’s Tales from the Saint Joseph’s Hardwood: The Hawk will Never Die, was published in 2005 (co-authored with Robert Gordon)
  • Passed away in 2018 at age 83; survived by wife, Claire, two daughters, two sons and eight grandchildren

Jack McKinney Coaching Tree

  • Harry Booth (Saint Joseph’s)
  • Jim Boyle (Saint Joseph’s)
  • Butch Carter (Toronto Raptors)
  • Johnny Davis (Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers)
  • George Irvine (Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers)
  • Clemon Johnson (Florida A&M, Alaska-Fairbanks)
  • Sidney Lowe (NC State, Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Kevin McKenna (Indiana State, Omaha, Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  • Kenny Natt (Sacramento Kings)
  • Jim O’Brien (Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Dayton, Wheeling Jesuit)
  • Louis Orr (Bowling Green, Seton Hall, Siena)
  • Paul Westhead (Phoenix Mercury, George Mason, Denver Nuggets, Loyola Marymount, Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers)
  • Herb Williams (New York Knicks)


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