RUSTON - Legendary Louisiana Tech coach Scotty Robertson - who was the first coach of the New Orleans Jazz - died at his home Thursday following a lengthy illness.
Robertson, 81, had a record of 165-86 in 10 years coaching at Louisiana Tech, beginning in 1964.
He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame a year later.
“Scotty Robertson is one of the all-time greats at Louisiana Tech,” said Tech Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde in a university news release. “His legacy lives on through the many student-athletes whose lives he has influenced in such a positive manner. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Scotty and his family.”
A Louisiana Tech graduate, Robertson played one year of professional baseball before turning to coaching basketball. He had a record of 163-91 in 12 years at the high school level - including eight at Shreveport-Byrd, his alma mater.
He was then named the Tech coach by the late F. Jay Taylor, the school’s president, in 1964.
In addition to leading Louisiana Tech to three Gulf States Conference titles and two NCAA tournament appearances, he coached the program to a No. 1 ranking in the national college division in the early 1970s along with star forward Mike Green.
He was twice voted the Gulf States Conference coach of the year. His best record was 23-3 in the 1971-72 season.
Robertson then moved to the NBA, where he spent more than two decades with nine franchises. He served as the head coach for three teams.
He coached the Jazz for the 1974-75 season, led the Chicago Bulls for the final 26 games of the 1978-79 season and spent three full seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
His Pistons teams were 97-149 from 1981-83.
He was a member of the Phoenix Suns staff in 1992-93 when the franchise advanced to the NBA Finals before falling to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Robertson also coached in two NBA All-Star games.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betty Lou Lancaster Robertson; three daughters: Libby Robertson Power, Claudia Robertson Fowler, Vicki Robertson Page, and 10 grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for Saturday evening at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.