8.22.2009

Bill Fitch Quits, Replaced by KC Jones

June 1983
1983-84 Boston Celtics


Two days after Harry Mangurian announced he would sell the team, Bill Fitch, the Celtics' head coach for the past four seasons, quit. Less than a week later, he was named head coach of the Houston Rockets. This past week, the Celtics named long-time assistant K.C. Jones as the new head coach.

Jones is a winner. While teamed with Russell at the University of San Francisco, he was on two NCAA champions. He was a member of the US Olympic gold medal-winning team in Melbourne in 1956. In nine seasons with the Celtics, he played on eight NBA champions.

His coaching days began at Brandeis, but he sooned joined LA head coach Bill Sharman and won another NBA championship ring as an assistant with the Lakers in 1972.

Chris Ford, who was hired as an assistant to new Celtics' coach K. C. Jones this week, was asked about the difference between Bill Fitch and K. C.

"The big change is that it's going to be fun again," answered Ford. "I don't think there's any tension around. That's the new concept. It's fun again. I can tell just by walking around the offices. The secretaries are happier, the media, everyone."

Indeed, there's so much good will and happiness around the Celtics' offices these days that you can almost hear "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead" playing in the background.

The Witch is dead. Fitch is gone and each day it becomes clearer how much Fitch's serious and sour disposition affected the franchise.

Since Big Brother Bill took a hike to Houston, owner Harry Mangurian has repeatedly stated, "Red's rejuvenated. He's just like a kid again. He's more involved than in the five years I've been in Boston."

Auerbach is delighted with his new coach. The team is back in the family and Red can mention a shooting flaw to Charles Bradley without worrying about the defensive Fitch saying, "I wish you wouldn't do that."

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