Which Boston Celtics coach has won the most championships?
It’s one of the most famous teams in the history of the National Basketball Association and has had plenty of success over the years.
The Boston Celtics are known throughout the world. With memories of the likes of Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale, to name just a few, it is the NBA’s most successful franchise, winning 17 titles along the way.
So which coaches have brought them the most success?
Most successful Celtics coaches
In first place there is no doubt, it’s Red Auerbach, the second most successful NBA coach of all time with nine wins from 11 championship finals. Only Phil Jackson, with 11 from 13, has more.
Auerbach was in charge of the Celtics from 1950-66 and was able to call upon a selection of top calibre players.
As the NBA archives remember, ‘Auerbach carefully crafted a competitive team, and his moves culminated with an April 29, 1956 transaction that sent Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan to St. Louis for the Hawks’ ﬁrst-round pick; with that selection, the Celtics chose Bill Russell. This blockbuster trade would spur the Celtics into the most dominant franchise in pro basketball history and helped spawn the legend that is Auerbach and the Celtics. From 1950-1966, Auerbach coached the Celtics to nine world titles, including eight in succession from 1959-1966. His incredible record was 938-479 (.662) in regular-season play and an equally impressive 99-69 (.589) in post-season encounters.’
Auerbach was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the NBA Coach of the Year award is named in his honour.
In second place on the Boston list is Tom Heinsohn, who was coach from 1969-78. In that time he watched his teams play a total 690 games, and picked up his first NBA Finals win in 1974 and then followed that up with a second in 1976. Two wins from two finals, earning him a place in the Hall of Fame, not only as coach but also as a player.
Immediately prior to Heinsohn, and taking over from Auerbach, was Bill Russell - that special trade by Auerbach - and he comes in third for Celtics top coaches. His tenure, 1966-69, had him overseeing 245 games and led the team to two NBA Finals. That’s in just three seasons.