There are 17 head coaches in the Boston Celtics franchise after Brad Stevens was hired in July. Yet, only six of those coaches have won at least one of the franchise’s 17 championships.
Since Doc Rivers was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers for an unprotected 2014 first-round pick in June, we will take a look at the five greatest Celtics’ coaches. Every coach needs Hall-of-Fame players on their team in order to win a title, but these coaches also dealt with adversity and challenging competitors.
Here is the list of the Five Greatest Head Coaches In Boston Celtics History:
1. Red Auerbach - Whenever the Celtics’ history is discussed, everything begins and ends with Auerbach and Bill Russell. Auerbach won nine titles in a 10-year span when he roamed the sidelines for the Celtics. This was the most championships for an NBA head coach until Phil Jackson passed Auerbach when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals in 2009. Jackson eventually finished his coaching career with 11 championships. He also took a chance on a 6-foot-9-inch African-American player from the University of San Francisco named Russell. Russell came to Boston in 1956 during increasing racial tensions in the United States. He took the league by storm with the ability to block shots, yet keep the ball in play for one of his teammates to grasp before transitioning to the other end of the court. Auerbach had already been with the Celtics for six seasons and the Celtics could get no further than the Eastern Division Finals, which the Celtics had reached for three consecutive seasons (1952-’55). The Celtics already had stars in point guard Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, and Jim Lostcuff. Russell and another Celtics legend Tom Heinsohn helped the Celtics win their first title. Auerbach’s teams were known for their up-tempo, fast-break offense. In those days, teams scored over 100 points every game. Auerbach was also known for his fiery demeanor with officials, opposing players, and for puffing a victory cigar in the closing moments of his teams’ victories. He spent 16 years as the head coach of the Celtics before he became the General Manager and President of the organization. Auerbach was the architect of the Celtics’ dynasty.