Former Penn State Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Bach Passes Away At 91
Former Penn State head basketball coach John Bach died Monday at the age of 91. Bach coached at Penn State from 1969-78, where he went 122-121 in his 10 years at the helm. While none of his teams reached the NCAA Tournament, Bach was instrumental in the construction of Penn State’s basketball program and paved the way for success down the road.
“John Bach was a defensive mastermind who coached and inspired so many greats over his 56-year coaching career,” said Pat Chambers in a press release. “His teams at Penn State in the 1970s were known for their toughness and attitude, traits that continue to define our team to this day. The entire Penn State program sends its thoughts and prayers to the Bach family, and to all those he touched throughout his career.”
Bach started his coaching career at Fordham in 1950, where he assumed the head coaching position at his alma mater. He spent 18 years in that role, compiling a record of 265-183 while serving 11 years as the athletic director. Following his time at Penn State, Bach coached a number of teams in the NBA. From 1983-86 he was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors before going on to serve as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, where he won three straight championships alongside Michael Jordan and head coach Phil Jackson.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Jordan reflected on his time with Bach.
“He encouraged me, worked with me and really helped me to mold my game. Without him, I don’t know that we would’ve won our first 3 championships. He was more than a coach to me. He was a great friend. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing.”
After assistant coaching stints with the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and Washington Wizards, Bach retired from coaching in 2006.
Our thoughts are with the Bach family at this time.