Former Indiana Pacers coach George Irvine died late Monday night in Seattle at the age of 69.
Irvine worked with the Pacers in several capacities from the 1980s through the mid '90s. He was the head coach from 1984-86 and was an interim head coach in 1988. He also served assistant coach with the team from 1980-83, in 1991-92 and 1993-95. And, when he wasn't on the sidelines, he assisted General Manager/President Donnie Walsh in the front office.
"George Irvine brought me to Indiana and in my mind he was the beginning of NBA basketball with the Pacers in our building process for the years to come,” Walsh said in a statement released by the Pacers. “He had a great basketball mind, which allowed him to function at a high level as a coach, administrator and purveyor of talent. George was a once-in-a-lifetime friend and one of the best men in my life.”
Before coaching, Irvine played seven seasons in the ABA -- five with the Virginia Squires and two with the Denver Nuggets. He moved to coaching as an assistant with Denver immediately following his playing days.