Frederick Appleton "Fred" Schaus (June 30, 1925 – February 10, 2010) was an American basketball player, head coach and athletic director for the West Virginia University Mountaineers, player for the National Basketball Association's Fort Wayne Pistons and New York Knicks, general manager and head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach of Purdue University basketball, and a member of the NCAA Basketball Committee. He was born in Newark, Ohio.
Schaus played basketball at West Virginia, where he earned the record of first to score 1,000 career points (1,009). He was also selected to the All-American team in 1949.
Schaus left West Virginia to join the Fort Wayne Pistons in the 1949–1950 season. He scored 14.3 points a game and a year later scored a career-best 15.3 points a game. He was selected to play in the first NBA All-Star Game and scored eight points for the West. However, he only averaged 14.1 points per game in 1952, and then in 1953 it dropped to 10.1 points per game.
He was traded to the New York Knicks halfway through the 1954 season and ended his NBA career that season with 7.1 points per game average.
College coaching career
After his retirement from the NBA, Schaus returned to his alma mater to coach the Mountaineers. In his first season, he led the Mountaineers to a 19–11 mark and an NCAA tournament appearance. In the next five seasons, he posted an amazing 127–26 (.831) record, which included five consecutive NCAA tournament berths. He led WVU to the NCAA finals in 1959, but lost to Pete Newell's California team, 71–70.
After leaving NBA coaching and management in 1972, he returned to the college ranks to coach at Purdue University, taking over for George King. He held a 104–60 overall record as the Boilermaker's head coach, while leading them to the 1974 NIT Championship and a berth in the 1977 NCAA tournament. He then owned the distinction of being the only coach to reach the NIT finals, NCAA finals, and the NBA Finals.
Ironically, at Purdue, Schaus was the successor to George King, who was Schaus' successor at West Virginia.
After 1981, Schaus returned to WVU to serve as the athletic director.
Professional coaching/management career
Los Angeles Lakers
After the 1960 season, he left college coaching for the Los Angeles Lakers and reunited with his former WVU star, Jerry West. Schaus guided the Lakers to seven consecutive playoff appearances, including 4 Western Conference Championships in 5 years (1962, 1963, 1965 and 1966) then in 1967 he left to the front office as the Lakers GM. He assembled the Lakers, eventually winning the 1972 NBA title.
Schaus died in Morgantown, West Virginia in February, 2010.
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