Lake Oswego, Ore.-----Stu Inman, one of the greatest basketball players in San Jose State history who went on to coach the Spartans for six seasons, died on January 30 in Tualatin, Ore., hospital following an apparent heart attack. He was 80-years old.
A SPARTAN GREAT AS A PLAYER & COACH
Inman played on the 1947 through 1950 Spartan teams coached by Walt McPherson. The Spartans won 84 games and appeared in the 1948 and 1949 NAIA national tournaments. Inman was a three-time first-team all-conference selection. He set the San Jose State single-season scoring record in 1950 with 521 points – a mark that stood for 34 years. His 1,504 career point total lasted 38 seasons.
A 1950 sixth-round draft choice of the Chicago Stags of the NBA, Inman opted to enter the coaching profession. He coached at Madera (Calif.) High School in 1951 and at Roosevelt High School in Fresno, Calif., in 1952 and 1953. Inman coached two seasons each at Santa Ana College and Orange Coast College before accepting an assistant coaching position with the Spartans in 1957.
Inman, a member of the San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame, succeeded McPherson as head coach after the 1960 season and directed the Spartans the next six seasons (1961-66). San Jose State had four winning seasons and a 77-68 on-the-court win-loss record.
BUILDER OF A NBA CHAMPION
He was named the director of player personnel for the expansion team Portland Trail Blazers in 1970. Inman served the franchise in various administrative positions for 15 years and is credited as the architect of the Trail Blazers’ 1977 NBA Championship team that included center Bill Walton, forwards Bobby Gross and Maurice Lucas and guards Dave Twardzik and Larry Steele.
Inman also worked in the front office for the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks between 1986 and 1994. In recent years, he was a volunteer coach at Lake Oswego High School.