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Robert Scott "Scotty" Robertson III (February 1, 1930 – August 18, 2011) was an American basketball coach. He was the first coach for the New Orleans Jazz (now the Utah Jazz), and he later coached the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. He also has a stint as assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, and the Miami Heat.[1]

Scotty Robertson
Personal information
Born(1930-02-01)February 1, 1930
Fort Smith, Arkansas
DiedAugust 18, 2011(2011-08-18) (aged 81)
Ruston, Louisiana
Career information
High schoolC. E. Byrd (Shreveport, Louisiana)
CollegeLouisiana Tech (1949–1951)
Coaching career1952–1998
Career history
As coach:
1952Rodessa HS
1952–1955Vivian HS
1955–1963C. E. Byrd HS
1963–1964Louisiana Tech (assistant)
1964–1974Louisiana Tech
1974New Orleans Jazz
1977–1978Buffalo Braves (assistant)
1978–1979Chicago Bulls (assistant)
1979Chicago Bulls (interim HC)
1979–1980Houston Rockets (assistant)
1980–1983Detroit Pistons
1983–1984Indiana Pacers (assistant)
1984–1985San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
1989–1995Phoenix Suns (assistant)
1995–1998Miami Heat (assistant)
Career highlights and awards



Robertson was born in Fort Smith in western Arkansas. As a sixth grader, he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where he played basketball and baseball for C. E. Byrd High School, from which he graduated in 1947. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, but graduated in 1951 from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He obtained a master's degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.[1] After his graduation from Louisiana Tech, he played baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization before returning to basketball as a coach.[2]

In the 1952–53 academic year, Robertson coached the Vivian Warriors at the former Vivian High School, now North Caddo High School, he had a season record of 9–20. One of his players was Jasper "Jake" Smith III, son of State Representative Jasper K. Smith of Caddo Parish, who mentions Robertson in Smith's autobiographical Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times.[3]

Robertson thereafter coached at Byrd High School for eight years, having accomplished a 163–91 record. He then coached at Louisiana Tech from 1964 to 1974. There he amassed a 165–86 record and during the early 1970s led the Bulldogs to a No. 1 ranking in the national college division. The Bulldogs procured three championships in the former Gulf States Conference under Robertson's tutelage and also entered two National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments.[1]

Death and legacyEdit

At the time of his death of lung cancer at the age of eighty-one, Robertson was residing in Ruston, the location of Louisiana Tech, with his wife the former Betty Lou Lancaster, a member of a prominent family originally from Tensas Parish in eastern Louisiana.[4] He was survived by his daughters, Libby Robertson Power of Frisco, Texas, Claudia Robertson Fowler (husband Royal) of Franklin, Tennessee, and Vicki Robertson Page of Ruston. He had ten grandchildren.[1]

Services were held on August 21, 2011, at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. Interment followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Ruston.[1]

His obituary describes him, accordingly: "Despite compiling significant accolades in his professional career, no list does justice in describing a man that touched so many, angered so few and was respected and revered by all. Knowing the man was the only true description of his greatness. For those who knew him, he will never be forgotten. His love will carry on forever."[1]

Robertson was nominated to eight athletic halls of fame and was a Louisiana Tech "Alumnus of the Year" for the university school of education. He was a member of the Louisiana Tech Letterman Club and the Byrd High School Super Stars. Robertson was also a collector of classic cars.[1]

In 2012, the Robert "Scotty" Robertson Memorial Gymnasium, an alternate practice facility for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and Lady Techsters basketball teams, was renovated, including the completion of a new floor, and named in Robertson's honor. Among those on the fundraising committee for the project was former Caddo Parish Sheriff Don Hathaway, who graduated from Byrd High School a year before Robertson, and businessman John Caruthers.[5]

Head coaching recordEdit

High schoolEdit

Robertson coached at C. E. Byrd High School for eight years, having accomplished a 163–91 record.


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Louisiana Tech (Gulf States Conference) (1964–1971)
1964–65 Louisiana Tech 10–11 6–4
1965–66 Louisiana Tech 14–11 7–5
1966–67 Louisiana Tech 20–8 11–1 NCAA Regional Runner-Up
1967–68 Louisiana Tech 16–9 6–6
1968–69 Louisiana Tech 12–13 7–5
1969–70 Louisiana Tech 17–5 9–3
1970–71 Louisiana Tech 23–5 10–0 1st NCAA Regional Third Place
Louisiana Tech (Southland Conference) (1971–1974)
1971–72 Louisiana Tech 25–1 8–0 1st
1972–73 Louisiana Tech 20–6 10–2 T–1st
1973–74 Louisiana Tech 8–13 0–0
Louisiana Tech: 165–82 74–26
Total: 165–82

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Professional recordEdit

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New Orleans 1974–75 15 1 14 .067 (fired)
Chicago 1978–79 26 11 15 .423 5th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Detroit 1980–81 82 21 61 .256 6th in Central Missed Playoffs
Detroit 1981–82 82 39 43 .476 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Detroit 1982–83 82 37 45 .451 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Career 287 109 178 .380


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Robert Scott "Scotty" Robertson III". Shreveport Times, August 19, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Scotty Robertson, first coach of New Orleans Jazz, dies at 81
  3. ^ Jasper "Jake" Smith III (2005). Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times. Xlibris Corporation. p. 44. ISBN 978-1413499438. Retrieved June 9, 2014.[self-published source]
  4. ^ Robertson left indelible mark on area basketball
  5. ^ T. Scott Boatright (October 18, 2012). "Tech to honor legendary coach with renaming of gymnasium, court". Retrieved June 17, 2014.

External linksEdit