Today in Sports History: October 15

By Veronica An

In 1966, Bill Russell became the first black head coach when the Boston Celtics made him player-coach. Previous to his appointment as head coach, Russell played for the Celtics and was known for his skill as a defensive player and was also a member of the 1956 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which won a gold medal at the Melbourne Games in November. Russell led the Celtics to 12 NBA finals, winning 11 of them, and was named NBAโ€™s Most Valuable Player five times. Under his direction as coach, the Celtics held a 60-21 regular-season record and advanced to the NBA Finals. In between his time as coach, Russell became a sports color commentator, often paired with Rick Barry on televised basketball games. In 1970, he was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary All-Time Team and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame four years later.

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