Rest in Peace coaching legend and 1981 NBA Champion Celtics head coach Bill Fitch

The Boston Celtics family lost another member this week as legendary coach Bill Fitch passed away at the age of 89. Fitch was the Celtics coach for the 1980-81 season when the Larry Bird era Celtics won their first championship in just his second season out of Indiana State.

Fitch had success elsewhere and still ranks 11th on the NBA's all-time win list. Fitch ended his career with 944 regular-season wins. Fitch NBA Coach of the Year honors twice in his career. Fitch was named a top 10 NBA coach of all-time back in 1996 during the league's 50th anniversary.

Prior to Boston, Fitch served as the Cleveland Cavaliers first ever head coach, while post Boston, Fitch led the young Houston Rocket past the Los Angeles Lakers to the 1986 NBA Finals. And in the 1990's, Fitch actually managed to lead both the New Jersey Nets and Los Clippers to play-off births. Those two teams had long been considered the two biggest laughing stocks of the league, so these were no small feats. >

The NBA released this official statement:

The NBA mourns the passing of Hall of Fame coach Bill Fitch, an NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and a two-time Coach of the Year. Bill served 25 seasons as an NBA head coach and mentored countless players and coaches. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Rest in Peach Coach Fitch and prayers for you and your family.