George Irvine is a retired ABA/NBA player, NBA coach and NBA team front office executive from 1970-2005.
George attended Ballard High School in Seattle, WA where he was All-City for two years. In January, 2010, George had his high school number, 44, retired at Ballard High. After his 1966 high school graduation, he was a University of Washington starting forward for 3 varsity seasons, receiving All Pac-8 Honors First Team his junior and senior years. His career high college scoring was 41 points at the Far-West Classic against USC.
In 1970, after being drafted by the NBA Seattle Supersonics and the ABA Virginia Squires, he signed with the Squires. George played 5 years with the Squires; his teammates included Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, NBA coach Doug Moe, and Hall of Famers, Julius “Dr J” Erving and George Gervin. Charlie Scott, Dave Twardzik and Swen Nater were also Squire teammates.
He was traded in 1975 with draft pick David Thompson to the Denver Nuggets. He retired as a player in 1977 after sustaining a career-ending knee injury. At that time, he became a Nuggets assistant coach for Larry Brown.
In 1980, he moved on to be an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers.
George spent the next 25 years as an NBA Head Coach, (The Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons), NBA assistant coach (Indiana, Detroit and Golden State Warriors), and Indiana Pacers vice president of basketball, working with then Pacer’s President Donnie Walsh. Donnie and George had great success compiling the competitive Pacer teams of the 1990′s, led by Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Antonio and Dale Davis, Rik Smits, Byron Scott, and Sam Mitchell.
He had the pleasure of coaching 2 sons and 3 stepsons in AAU youth basketball over a period of 19 years; many of these teams advanced on to consecutive year appearances at the National AAU level. A multitude of these AAU players, under George’s direction, played at the Division I level in college.
George’s retirement years have also included being a volunteer Varsity High School assistant coach. He continues to enjoy “teaching” basketball to all ages.