Fred "Tex" Winter
Fred “Tex” Winter was the architect and mastermind of the famed triangle offense that produced nine NBA championships during Winter’s tenures with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. The first championship, with the Phil Jackson-led Chicago Bulls, came in 1991 – six decades after Winter began his collegiate coaching career in 1947 at Kansas State University where he assisted Hall of Fame coach Jack Gardner on two NCAA Final Four teams. Winter eventually succeeded Gardner as head coach at K-State, leading the Wildcats to two more appearances in the Final Four in 15 seasons. He was a student of the game and learned from the best, gleaning his basketball philosophy from Hall of Famers like Gardner, Pete Newell, Phil Woolpert, and Sam Barry at USC. The triangle, or triple-post offense, actually evolved in part from Barry’s center-opposite offense. Constantly tinkering and fine-tuning his own approach, Winter bounced around a lot before he found a permanent home in the NBA where the triangle became the cornerstone of the dominant Bulls and Lakers teams under head coach Phil Jackson.