First Black Coach
In 1968 Lloyd broke another color barrier when he was named the first African American assistant coach in the league, signing on with the Detroit Pistons. Three years later he became the second black to be named a head coach, and the Pistons' first black coach. Lloyd was the first African American to serve as bench coach. During his short tenure, he coached future Hall of Famers Dave Bing and Bob Lanier.
Unfortunately, the Pistons went just 20-52 under Lloyd in the 1971-72 season, and Lloyd was fired after only seven games into the next season. Pistons owner Fred Zollner replaced Lloyd with Ray Scott, the first time in the NBA that a black coach succeeded a black coach. Nevertheless, Lloyd should be commended for his dedicated service to the Detroit Pistons, having served as the team's assistant coach, scout, and head coach, and as a television analyst as well.
Recognized for his contributions to basketball, he was enshrined in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1998 Lloyd was voted one of the CIAA's 50 Greatest Players and named to the CIAA Hall of Fame. He outlived his other two black NBA history makers; Cooper died in 1984 and Clifton died in 1990.
Lloyd also found success after leaving professional basketball. He worked in the field of job placement for Detroit Board of Education for more than ten years. More recently Lloyd was employed in the community relations department of Dave Bing, Inc., a steel and automobile-parts company owned by the former Piston whom Lloyd had briefly coached. Lloyd has lived in Detroit and in Fairfield, Tennessee, with his wife Charlita. Though Lloyd was "never one to blow my own horn," his ground-breaking role in basketball assures his place in history.
Famous Sports StarsBasketballEarl Lloyd Biography - Virginia Native Makes History, No Jackie Robinson, First Black Coach, Chronology, Career Statistics