John Erickson, a former Milwaukee Bucks general manager and Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, has died. He was 92.
Erickson, who died Wednesday in Tulsa, Okla., was hired by the Bucks in 1968 as general manager of the expansion team. The following season, the Bucks won a coin flip with the Phoenix Suns for the first pick in the 1969 NBA Draft, allowing them to select UCLA center Lew Alcindor, who went on to become NBA career scoring leader known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Two years later, the Bucks won their only NBA championship.
Erickson coached Wisconsin from 1959-68 and posted a 100-114 record.
Following two seasons with the Bucks, Erickson ran for one of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seats as a Republican in 1970 but lost to incumbent William Proxmire. He went on to become president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 16 years. In 1988 he was hired by the Big Eight Conference as their director of basketball and eventually was promoted to assistant commissioner.