Mike Schuler, former coach of the Blazers and Clippers, dies

Former college and NBA coach Mike Schuler has died at the age of 81, as the NBA has made official in a statement.

Beginning his career in 1965 on the United States Military Academy sports teams, it was in 1972 that he made the jump to college to spend nine years with the NCAA teams of Ohio, Virginia and Rice; time that served him to grow as a coach before turning professional in 1981 as an assistant for the New Jersey Nets.

Five years after making his way in the NBA between the Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks, he had the opportunity to debut as head coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, a team with which he was named Coach of the Year in the 1987-88 academic year by leading the Oregon franchise to a balance of 49-33. Fired in 1989, he spent just one season as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors before getting a new opportunity as head coach at the Los Angeles Clippers, where he was between 1990 and 1992.

The Angelina adventure was the last one he lived as head of a locker room. From then on, and for another 13 years, he worked as an assistant for the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks. This is how Terry Porter remembers him, who was under his orders in Portland.

“I had the pleasure of being coached by Mike and training alongside him later in my career. Mike was an excellent coach and had an intense coaching style, always focused on getting the best out of his players. From a friend’s point of view, I have always been very grateful to have him on my coaching staff to share his experience, knowledge and kindness,” he says.

(Photograph by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images)

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