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Today in Sports History: 4/28 – Red Auerbach Retires as Celtics Head Coach

Today in sports history (1966), legendary Boston Celtics Head Coach Red Auerbach retired. The Brooklyn native found a knack in the NBA for seeing talent. With Auerbach at the helm, the Celtics featured players such as Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird. After Auerbach retired from coaching basketball, he joined the front office and became the general manager of the Celtics until 1984.

Auerbach experimented with his players, including introducing a true sixth man role. He was one of the pioneers of having one of your better players come off of the bench and run with the second units. He also revolutionized the NBA by putting out a lineup consisting of five African-American players.

Red Auerbach Today in History
Bill Chaplis / Associated Press

Red Auerbach Goes Out a Winner

In his final game at the helm of the Boston Celtics, his team took down the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Known for smoking a cigar during games, Auerbach finished his coaching career with nine championships. He added another seven as an executive. This means that Auerbach was a part of 16 out of Boston’s 17 championships. He finished his Celtics coaching career with a record of 795-397, which is good for a 66.7 winning percentage. In total, Auerbach eclipsed 938 wins, as he was with the Washington Capitols and Tri-Cities Blackhawks before Boston. Those 938 wins were the record at the time of Auerbach’s retirement. It now ranks 12th all time.

As stated before, Red Auerbach really made his coaching name during the playoffs. He finished his postseason coaching career with a record of 148-90 (60.8%). Many call Auerbach the greatest coach in not only basketball, but all sports. That may be proven by the coaching winning nine championships in ten (!) years.

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