Who is Paul Westhead?
American retired basketball coach Paul William Westhead was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, on 21 February 1939, making Pisces his zodiac sign. He’s probably still known best for having coached three National Basketball Association (NBA) and several Women’s NBA (WNBA) teams, while he’s also coached in the Japan Basketball League (JBL), American Basketball Association (ABA), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
— Paul Teetor (@paulteetor) February 14, 2021
Education and early life
Paul was raised in Philadelphia by his parents, about whom he hasn’t shared many details because he’s respective of their privacy; it’s believed that both his mother and father have passed away, but this is yet to be confirmed. Paul hasn’t spoken about having brothers and sisters, and most of his fans believe that he’s an only child.
He studied at West Catholic Preparatory High School, and was mostly into playing basketball during his four years there; he suffered a number of injuries as a teenager, and they eventually made it impossible for him to pursue a career as a professional basketball player, thus choosing to become a coach.
Paul matriculated in 1957, and then enrolled at Saint Joseph’s University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1961; he coached at a number of high schools in the following a couple of years, prior to gaining recognition.
In 1967, Paul began coaching at Cheltenham High School in Philadelphia, and his team the Panthers lost in the Pennsylvania State Championship; one of Paul’s players Craig Littlepage later became the athletic director at the University of Virginia.
In 1970, Paul began coaching the basketball team of La Salle University, where he also taught English language; he remained coaching the Explorers until 1979, and during that time they competed in two NCAA and one National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Congratulations to ✌️ of our former legendary head coach — Speedy Morris and Paul Westhead — on being eligible candidates for the Hoophall Hall of Fame Class of 2023!#Authenticity | #GoExplorers🔭
Posted by La Salle University Men's Basketball on Thursday, December 22, 2022
Peak of career
Paul’s first coaching job in the NBA was with the Los Angeles Lakers; he had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson on the team, and in Paul’s first year with the Lakers, they won the 1980 NBA Finals by defeating Philadelphia. Still, Paul was fired in 1982, and replaced by Pat Riley.
He next coached the Chicago Bulls in 1982 and ‘83, then returned to coaching college basketball teams in 1985, when invited to coach the Loyola Marymount Lions, where he stayed for five years.
From 1989 through 1991, he coached the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, but was then fired because his two-year record was 44-120. From 1993 through 1997, he coached at the George Mason University, and was fired because of his 38-70 record. From 1997 through 1999, he was the Golden State Warriors assistant coach under P. J. Carlesimo.
In 2000 and 2001, Paul coached the Los Angeles Stars of the ABA, and from 2001 through 2003 the Panasonic Super Kangaroos of the JBL. The year 2003 saw him coach the Long Beach Jam of ABA, and from 2003 to 2005, Paul was Orlando Magic’s (NBA) assistant coach under Johnny Davis.
He began coaching the Phoenix Mercury of WNBA in 2005, and led them to win the 2007 WNBA Championship, becoming the only coach to win both an NBA and WNBA Championship.
Paul then joined the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics as their assistant coach under P. J. Carlesimo, but after P. J. was fired, Paul was let go as well.
University of Oregon’s athletic director Pat Kilkenny revealed on 26 March 2009 that Paul had become the new head coach of the university’s women’s basketball team the Ducks (NCAA). He was the team’s sixth head coach – it was revealed on 4 March 2014 that his contract was expiring, and wouldn’t be renewed, mostly because he had a record of 65-90 with the Ducks, and in conference play 27-64 in five seasons. It was also revealed that his five-year contract was worth over $3 million, meaning that he was making close to $600,000 a year.
Paul retired after he was let go by the Ducks, and has since been leading a peaceful life at his home in Philadelphia.
Love life and relationships
Paul has been keeping the details of his love life hidden since the launch of his career, but some things about it are still known. He’s been married to non-celebrity American Cassie for more than 40 years now, but the exact date of their wedding remains undisclosed; Cassie also prefers to stay away from media, but it’s believed that she’s a retired college professor. They have four children together: Julie, Paul Jr, Patrice and Monica, but their dates of birth and professions have also been kept away from media, as Paul and Cassie wanted them to lead normal lives, away from the spotlight.
Paul hasn’t spoken about the women whom he had been with prior to meeting Cassie, to whom he’s married as of April 2023, and they have four children.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Paul was physically quite active during his 20s and 30s, as he played various sports with his friends nearly every day, and also worked out at the gym several times every week.
He’s been passionate about music since a very early age, and is today a fan of old school rock ‘n’ roll bands, such as Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC.
Paul’s donated money and volunteered with a number of charity organizations, while he’s always been mostly into working with those that aim to bring sports closer to underprivileged children.
He was once passionate about travelling, and his career took him to all of the US states, and many countries around the world, while his dream travel destination remains Japan.
Paul’s a fan of the American film industry; his favorite actor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and some of his favorite movies include “Predator”, “True Lies” and “Twins”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Paul’s age is 84. He has brown eyes and grey hair, is 6ft 1in (1.84m) tall and weighs around 180lbs (81kgs).
His net worth’s been estimated at over $3 million, as of April 2023.