Gene Shue, former Washington Bullets head coach and University of Maryland Hall of Famer, died Monday at the age of 90.
The Baltimore native won a franchise-record 522 wins during his 13 total seasons with the Bullets. He also led the franchise to three 50-win seasons (1968-69, 1969-70 and 1972-73) when it was originally based in Baltimore.
We are saddened by the passing of former Bullets head coach, Gene Shue, a Baltimore native and the winningest coach in franchise history.
Shue’s career with the franchise included:
◾ 522 wins (franchise record)
◾ Three 50-win seasons
◾ 1971 NBA Finals appearance
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 4, 2022
Shue — who was a point guard — played 11 seasons in the NBA before transitioning over the coaching side. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA selection. He spent the majority of his playing career with the Pistons, playing six seasons with the Michigan-based franchise.
He also played for the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers before playing his final season with then-Baltimore Bullets. He was taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft.
With the Bullets, Shue was named Coach of the Year two times and led them to five Eastern Conference Finals in the playoffs, as well as one NBA Finals appearance.
Shue was also known for shepherding the 76ers back to greatness, and took Philadelphia to the Finals in 1977 with the help of players such as Julius Erving, Doug Collins and George McGinnis.
Shue was fired by the 76ers early the following season and ended up with the San Diego Clippers from 1978-80. When the NBA adopted the 3-pointer in the 1979-80 season, the Clippers led the league in both attempts and field goals from long distance.
He finished his coaching career with 784 victories. He was a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame nominee.
“Gene dedicated his life to the game and left an indelible mark as a player, head coach and executive. We extend our deepest condolences to the Shue family,” the league said in a statement.
Before playing professionally, Shue was a college star for the Terrapins, averaging 18.7 points per game during his career, a school record for more than two decades. He was an All-ACC selection as a senior in 1954. Shue was inducted into University of Maryland’s Hall of Fame in 1991.
WTOP’s Matt Delaney and The Associated Press contributed to this story.