Former NBA coach Nissalke dies at 87

Field Level Media

August 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Former NBA Coach of the Year Tom Nissalke has died. He was 87.

Nissalke died at his Salt Lake City home on Thursday, according to the Deseret News.

Nissalke won Coach of the Year honors for the 1976-77 season when the Houston Rockets went 49-33 and reached the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nissalke went 248-391 in nine NBA seasons. He also coached the Seattle SuperSonics, Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers. The 1983-84 season with the Cavaliers (28-54) was his final one as a head coach.

He was Utah’s first coach after the franchise relocated from New Orleans for the 1979-80 campaign.

He also spent parts of four seasons coaching in the ABA and posted a 123-117 record. Nissalke was named ABA Coach of the Year when he guided the Dallas Chaparrals to a 42-42 record and a playoff spot in 1971-72.

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