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CL and John "Jack" McCloskey. (3/25/13)

John William "Jack" McCloskey (born October 19, 1925) is a retired American basketball player, coach and executive. He served in World War II as a lieutenant commanding a landing ship for Marines. He played one game for the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA during the 1953 season, scoring 6 points in that game. He served as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1966, and of Wake Forest from 1966 to 1972. Following that, he served as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 1972 through 1974, earning a 48-116 win/loss record. He followed this stint as an assistant coach to Jerry West and the Los Angeles Lakers. When West became general manager, McCloskey felt he had earned the right to become head coach, but Jack McKinney was hired instead. In 1979, he became general manager of the Detroit Pistons.

During the next 13 years, "Trader Jack," as he was known, made over 30 trades, constantly upgrading his team to become a true challenger to the Boston Celtics, one of the dominant teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference. His best-known moves were drafting future Hall-Of-Famer Joe Dumars outside the lottery and rebounding champ Dennis Rodman in the second round of the NBA Draft, trading three players for future all-star center and dominant rebounder Bill Laimbeer and trading superstar Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre during the 1988-89 season, a move that helped the Pistons win the NBA championship in 1989 and 1990. After the Chicago Bulls swept an injury-riddled Piston team in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, "Trader Jack" made his last moves. He acquired Darrell Walker, Brad Sellers, and Orlando Woolridge, and let go of Vinnie Johnson and James Edwards to try to make the team younger. He drafted Doug Overton in the second round that year (the Pistons had traded their first-round pick away), who did not even play the following season. The Pistons struggled with their chemistry, as key subs like John Salley did not improve their performance, yet they won 48 games. They lost in five games to the New York Knicks in the first round, and McCloskey left the team. He later served in the front offices of the Minnesota Timberwolves (1992-1995), and the Toronto Raptors (2004), the latter on an interim basis.

On March 29, 2008, McCloskey had his name honored in Detroit, with banner raised at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Now retired, he currently resides in Georgia.[1]

His daughter is the writer Molly McCloskey, whose memoir Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother (2011) recounts the story of the McCloskey family with particular focus on Molly's brother (Jack McCloskey's son), Mike.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ FBI investigated letters sent to former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly - ESPN, "Jack McCloskey, now retired and living in Georgia"
  2. ^ Irish Independent review of Circles Around the Sun
  3. ^ Irish Times review of Circles Around the Sun
  4. ^ Guardian review of Circles Around the Sun

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_McCloskey — Please support Wikipedia.
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178 news items

Alvernia University Athletics
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 08:07:30 -0800

... become the career leader in 3s at Alvernia with 206. Women's basketball returns to action tonight, hosting Gwynedd Mercy at 7:00 pm on Jack McCloskey Court. The men's team travels to Lycoming on Wednesday for its first conference matchup of the year.
Alvernia University Athletics
Sat, 10 Oct 2015 06:30:00 -0700

"The late Jack McCloskey was a basketball standout at Central Catholic and Kutztown State College. He went on to coach basketball at North Schuylkill and Boyertown, compiling a 250-132 record and winning three league titles. At Alvernia, where he won ...

The Detroit News

The Detroit News
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 15:48:45 -0800

Thomas pushed for general manager Jack McCloskey to bolster the Pistons front court. Thomas once embarrassed a rookie guard, Doug Overton, in front of the team and the media because he didn't believe he was talented enough or tough enough for the ...
Alvernia University Athletics
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:54:42 -0800

Reading, Pa. (Nov. 24, 2015) - Alvernia University (3-1) dominated offensively, collecting an overpowering 95-36 victory over Penn State Berks (0-3) Tuesday evening in women's basketball non-conference action on Jack McCloskey Court. Senior Chelsea ...


Tue, 12 May 2015 06:18:23 -0700

Jack McCloskey to this day is convinced there was an anti-Pistons sentiment that emanated from basketball circles of power, both official and unofficial. He told me once about attending the NBA league meetings in the aftermath of the '89 Finals. In the ...
Alvernia University Athletics
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:00:00 -0800

Reading, Pa. (Nov. 18, 2015) – Alvernia University (3-0) recorded its third win of the season, defeating Immaculata University (0-2) Wednesday evening 68-59 in non-conference action on Jack McCloskey Court. Alvernia took the 2-0 lead less than two ...
Alvernia University Athletics
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:37:30 -0800

... both surpassed 20 points and Alvernia University (2-0) set single game records for free throws made and attempted in an 88-73 win over Penn State-Brandywine (0-1) Saturday evening in non-conference men's basketball action at Jack McCloskey Court.
Alvernia University Athletics
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 19:00:00 -0800

Reading, Pa. (Nov. 13, 2015) – Alvernia University (1-0) opened up the 2015-16 season with a convincing 83-66 victory over Delaware Valley (0-1) Friday evening on Jack McCloskey Court. The Crusaders were slow to start, putting together just 10 points ...

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