Butch van Breda Kolff Biography
- Age: 94 years old
- Birth Nation: United States of America
- Height: 6 Feet 4 Inch
- Birth Sign: Libra
- Name: Butch van Breda Kolff
- Birth Name: Willem Hendrik "Butch" van Breda Kolff
- Father: Jan van Breda Kolff
- Nationality: American
- Birth Place/City: Glen Ridge, New Jersey
- Ethnicity: White
- Profession: Basketball Player
- Weight in KG: N/A
- Married: Yes
- Married to: Florence
- Children: N/A
- Education: University of New Orleans
- Awards: N/A 13
Willem Hendrik ‘Butch’ van Breda Kolff was born on 28th October 1922 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey to Dutch amateur football player, Jan Gaualtherus van Breda Kolff. He started playing basketball while growing up in Montclair.
Butch attended The Hill High School located in Pottstown, PA where he voraciously played basketball and continued it in Princeton University as well and also New York University. His collegiate basketball was good so he was signed to New York Knicks in 1946. New York Knicks was of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) that went on to merge into the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949. He went on to average 4.7 points in the 175 contests that he played. He did not play so well but was elected as the team captain. He finally left the NBA in 1950. Butch started his coaching career in 1951 with Lafayette. He coached there till 1955 and then went on to coach Hofstra . Later in 1962 he went on to coach Princeton till 1967. Princeton saw wonderful games with him as a coach. In 1967, Butch went on to coach Los Angeles Lakers and then in 1969 he went on to coach Detroit Pistons. While with the Pistons, Butch guided the team in winning their first winning season in 15 years to a 45-37 mark. He was recognized and appreciated for this. With the team he went on to coach 10 more games. From 1972 to 1973, Butch went on to coach Phoenix Suns after which he coached ABA’s Memphis Tams till 1974. Later, Butch went on to coach New Orleans. He coached New Orleans Jazz till 1977 and then University of New Orleans till 1979. Later Butch went on to coach New Orleans Pride of the WPL and finally left in 1981. He is highly regarded for his efforts while working with New Orleans. In 1984, Butch went on to coach Lafayette back again and then left in 1988 for Hofstra where he spent coaching till 1994. Butch was not much concerned about the category of his team and also spent some time running a woman’s professional team. He later went on to coach a high school team located in Picayune, Mississippi. Butch is among the only four men to have coached both an NCAA Final Four team during the coaching career. Later he was also seen in ESPN’s Sports Century’s one episode.
Butch married Florence Smith with whom he had three daughters named Karen, Kristina and Kaatje and a son named Jan Van Breda Kolff. Jan also played basketball in his early ages with NBA New York Nets and later became a coach like his father.
Butch was 84 years old when he died . He died on 22nd August 2007 at a nursing home located in Spokane, Washington after natural illness. While working with the National Basketball Association as a coach, Butch went on to record a total of 266-253(.518) mark and while working with the American Basketball Association as a coach he went on to record 21-63(.250) mark.
- Last modified : 12 June, 2015
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