Joe Mullaney

Joe Mullaney (1924-2000)

Teams coached: Providence Friars, Los Angeles Lakers, Kentucky Colonels, Utah Stars, Memphis Sounds, Spirits of St. Louis, Buffalo Braves, Brown Bears
Providence record: 290-147 (.664)
Brown record: 29-49 (.372)
Overall record^: 319-196 (.619)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  3  (1964, 1965, 1966)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1965)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  2  (1961, 1963)
  • NIT Appearances:  6  (1959, 1969, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1981-1985 Providence
1978-1981 Brown
1976-1977 Buffalo Braves
1975-1976 Spirits of St. Louis
1974-1975 Memphis Sounds
1973-1974 Utah Stars
1971-1973 Kentucky Colonels
1969-1971 Los Angeles Lakers
1955-1969 Providence
1954-1955 Norwich

Joe Mullaney Facts

  • Joseph Alexander Mullaney
  • Born November 17, 1924
  • Died March 8, 2000
  • Hometown: Long Island, New York
  • Alma Mater: College of the Holy Cross (BA, 1949)
  • After graduating from Chaminade HS in Mineola, NY, Mullaney served in the US Air Force during WWII
  • Played for head coaches Doggie Julian and Buster Sheary at Holy Cross
    • Was teammates with Bob Cousy and George Kaftan on the Crusaders’ 1946-47 NCAA Championship team; Mullaney was the captain that year and a starter ahead of the freshman Cousy
    • Drafted in the third round of the 1949 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, playing briefly for the team in 1949-50
  • Started his coaching career in 1954 with a one-year stint as the head coach at Norwich University in Vermont
  • Arrived at Providence in 1955 for his first stint as the Friars’ head coach, spending the next fourteen seasons there
    • Went to the postseason nine times (three NCAA, six NIT), including a trip to the Elite Eight in 1965
  • Left Providence in 1969 and spent the next eight years coaching a variety of professional teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers team that won the Western Conference in 1970
    • Also coached the Kentucky Colonels, Utah Stars, Memphis Sounds and the Spirits of St. Louis, all members of the ABA, and one season with the Buffalo Braves, a former NBA franchise
    • Named the Co-ABA Coach of the Year in 1975 after coaching the Stars to a runner-up finish in the ABA Championship
  • Returned to the college ranks in 1978, spending three seasons as the head coach at Brown before doing a second four-year stint at Providence at the end of his coaching career
    • As the head coach at Providence in the 1980s, the Friar played in the new Big East Conference under commissioner Dave Gavitt, a former assistant to and protégé of Mullaney
  • Inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1970, recognizing his lifetime achievements as a native of Rhode Island
  • Passed away in 2000 due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 75
    • Survived by his wife, Jane, four sons and a daughter

Joe Mullaney Coaching Tree

  • Elgin Baylor (New Orleans Jazz)
  • Zelmo Beaty (Virginia Squires)
  • Bill Carmody (Holy Cross, Northwestern, Princeton)
  • M. L. Carr (Boston Celtics)
  • Wilt Chamberlain (San Diego Conquistadors)
  • Don Chaney (New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Billy Donovan (OKC Thunder, Florida, Marshall)
  • Johnny Egan (Houston Rockets)
  • Larry Finch (Memphis)
  • Dave Gavitt (Dartmouth, Providence)
  • Dan Issel (Denver Nuggets)
  • Jim Larrañaga (Miami FL, George Mason, Bowling Green, American Intl)
  • Jim O’Brien (Emerson, Ohio State, Boston College, St. Bonaventure)
  • Mike Pratt (Charlotte)
  • Pat Riley (Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers)
  • John Shumate (Phoenix Mercury, SMU, Grand Canyon)
  • John Thompson (Georgetown)
  • Jerry West (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Lenny Wilkens (New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers)


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