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Joseph Donald Walsh Jr., better known as Donnie Walsh (born March 1, 1941 in New York City) is a former professional basketball coach, and currently the president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks.


Walsh attended Fordham Preparatory School in The Bronx, New York. Walsh played college basketball at the University of North Carolina for legendary coaches Frank McGuire and Dean Smith and was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in the NBA draft, but never played in the NBA. Walsh earned both a bachelor's degree and a law degree at UNC. He turned down opportunities to practice law in order to coach basketball.

Walsh served as an assistant coach for several college teams, including twelve seasons at the University of South Carolina, working with McGuire who was the Gamecocks' head coach. From there Walsh was hired as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets by Larry Brown. He became the head coach of the Nuggets in 1979 and held the position for a year and a half, being replaced with Doug Moe in 1980. In 1984, he became an assistant with the Indiana Pacers.

He later took a position as general manager with the Pacers, where in 1987 he made the then-controversial decision to select Reggie Miller in the NBA Draft over local hero Steve Alford of Indiana University. The decision later proved to be brilliant, as Miller had a magnificent NBA career whereas Alford was a bust in the pros. He was later promoted to the position of CEO and president and held that position until shortly before the end of the 2007–08 season.

Although Walsh has never been voted the NBA Executive of the Year, he is widely regarded as one of the league's top personnel directors because of his shrewd trades and draft picks. The Pacers had reached the playoffs in 16 of the previous 17 years heading into the 2006–7 season.

On April 2, 2008, the New York Knicks announced that Walsh had agreed to become president of basketball operations for the Knicks.[1]


  1. ^ Howard Beck, Walsh Will Take Control of Knicks, New York Times, April 2, 2008,

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Preceded by
Larry Brown
Denver Nuggets head coach
Succeeded by
Doug Moe
Preceded by
Isiah Thomas
New York Knicks President
Succeeded by


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