ESPN remembers Dr. Jack Ramsay, (1925-2014)

Hall of Fame NBA coach and ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay died today in Naples, Fla., having battled cancer for more than 15 years. He was 89. Family members say he died peacefully in his sleep.

“The entire ESPN family is saddened by the loss of our beloved NBA analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “It was our great pleasure to work with Dr. Jack and his energy and zest for life resonated in all that he did. He leaves an amazing legacy of helping fans understand and appreciate the game he loved. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his son Chris, a respected member of our ESPN family.”

Ramsay, affectionately known as “Dr. Jack,” coached 20 years in the NBA and led current ESPN analyst Bill Walton and the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title. He also won a title while serving as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966-67 season and helped build the Buffalo Braves – now the Los Angeles Clippers – into a contender before moving to Portland in the mid-1970s. Ramsay, who also coached the Indiana Pacers and collegiately at St. Joseph’s University in Philadlephia, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Ramsay joined ESPN in 1991 as an NBA analyst on television and worked on ESPN Radio games for 18 years before retiring last season. For years, Ramsay teamed with play-by-play announcer Jim Durham for many NBA on ESPN Radio broadcasts. Durham passed away in 2013 at the age of 65.

Ramsay often worked with his son Chris Ramsay, ESPN.com’s senior director, editorial and special projects and onetime NBA senior deputy editor.

The ESPN family, NBA and sporting world at large reacted to the news of Dr. Jack’s passing. Here’s a sampling of that outpouring:


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  • pihc

    I don’t ever remember shedding a tear for a sports figure when they passed. I did when I heard of Dr. Jack’s passing. A truly good man was lost.