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Phil Jackson - Related Biography: Basketball Coach Tex Winter

university system head offense

Tex Winter learned basketball's triangle offense while playing at the University of Southern California in the 1930s, and he taught the complicated system better than anyone else. He was a key figure in grooming the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers for a total of nine NBA titles. Phil Jackson said of Winter in Texas Monthly, "Tex is officially the God of Basketball…. I find him, as a mentor or a teacher, a wonderful guy to have around."

From an assistant role at Kansas State, Winter went on to jobs at Marquette University, Northwestern University, Long Beach State College, and Louisiana State University. He had a fifteen-year stint as head coach for Kansas State, where he was honored with the national coach of the year award for 1959. Winter briefly worked as an NBA head coach for the San Diego Rockets during 1971-73.

When Jerry Krause became general manager of the Chicago Bulls he quickly hired Winter in 1985. He worked under coaches Stan Allbeck and Doug Collins, neither of whom used the triangle offense. Winter was thinking of retiring when Jackson replaced Collins and adopted the system. When he joined Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, Winter had been working longer than any other active coach.

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