Jack Ramsay

Jack Ramsay (1925-2014)

Teams coached: Saint Joseph’s Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers
Saint Joseph’s record: 231-71 (.765) **
Overall record^: 231-71 (.765) **

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0  (1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966) **
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  3  (1963, 1965, 1966) **
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0 **
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  3  (1956, 1958, 1964)
  • Middle Atlantic Regular Season Champion:  7  (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966)


  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 1992)
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1986-1988 Indiana Pacers
1976-1986 Portland Trail Blazers
1972-1976 Buffalo Braves
1968-1972 Philadelphia 76ers
1955-1966 Saint Joseph’s

Jack Ramsay Facts

  • John Travilla Ramsay
  • Born February 21, 1925
  • Died April 28, 2014
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Alma Mater: Saint Joseph’s College (BA, 1949) / University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1962 & PhD, 1963)
  • The Philly-native graduated from Upper Darby HS and went on to play for coach Bill Ferguson at Saint Joseph’s
    • Time at SJC was interrupted by World War II, during which Ramsay served three years in the US Navy
    • Also played baseball for the Hawks
  • Spent six seasons playing professionally in the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League, during which he would earn masters and doctorate degrees from Penn
    • Throughout his coaching career, Ramsay went by the nickname “Dr. Jack”
  • Returned to alma mater Saint Joseph’s in 1955 to become the head coach of the basketball team
    • Won seven Middle Atlantic titles in eleven years as the Hawks’ head coach, leading the team to seven NCAA Tournaments
      • The 1960-61 team reached the Final Four, but that was later vacated by the NCAA due to a gambling scandal
    • Left Saint Joe’s in 1966 on the advice of doctors when he was diagnosed with an edema in his right eye
  • Spent the rest of his career in the NBA, coaching the Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers for a 21 total seasons
    • Finished his career with an overall record of 864-783 (.525) and reached the NBA Playoffs sixteen times
    • Won the 1977 NBA Championship with Portland defeating the 76ers in six games
    • Named one of the “Top 10 Coaches in NBA History” by the NBA in 1996 alongside their “50 Greatest Players” list
  • After coaching, Ramsay worked in television with the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and then with ESPN Radio
  • Wrote several books on basketball, including Pressure Basketball and The Coach’s Art 
  • Along with his wife, Jean, had five children
    • His daughter, Sharon, is married to former Dayton and NBA coach Jim O’Brien

Jack Ramsay Coaching Tree

  • Matt Guokas (Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Clemon Johnson (Florida A&M, Alaska-Fairbanks)
  • Tates Locke (Indiana State, Jacksonville, Buffalo Braves)
  • Kevin Loughery (Miami Heat, Washington Bullets, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, NJ Nets, Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Jim Lynam (Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, SD/LA Clippers, Saint Joseph’s, American, Fairfield)
  • Kyle Macy (Morehead State)
  • Jack McKinney (KC Kings, Indiana Pacers, LA Lakers, Saint Joseph’s)
  • Paul Westhead (Phoenix Mercury, George Mason, Denver Nuggets, Loyola Marymount, Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers, La Salle)


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

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