Former Saint Joseph's player and head coach Jack Ramsay died Monday at his home in Naples, Florida, at the age of 89 after a decade-long battle with cancer.
One of the greatest teachers in basketball history, Ramsay, known affectionately throughout the basketball community as "Dr. Jack," made his mark in the collegiate and professional ranks, and more recently as a broadcaster, up until his retirement.
Born in Philadelphia, Ramsay began his affiliation with Saint Joseph's as a member of the Hawks' teams of the late 1940s, eventually becoming captain for his senior season, and went on to earn his doctorate in education from Penn.
His 1961 team made the school's only appearance in the Final Four and the 1965-66 Hawks were chosen as the preseason No. 1 team in the nation by Sports Illustrated.
While at Saint Joseph's, Ramsay mentored five eventual NBA head coaches -- Jack McKinney, Paul Westhead, Jim Lynam, Matt Guokas and Jim O'Brien -- along with future NBA assistant Jim Boyle.
Ramsay also played baseball for the Hawks for one season and served as that team's head coach from 1956 to '58.
After leaving Saint Joseph's following the 1966 season, his first position in the professional ranks was as general manager of the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers. That team won the world championship and is considered one of the most dominant teams in NBA history.
As a head coach in the NBA, Ramsay won 864 games in 21 seasons and guided the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 title.
His combined total of collegiate and professional victories is 1,098, one of the highest ever in the sport of basketball.
Ramsay received the highest honor in the game when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
To Ramsay, the most significant part of the Saint Joseph's years was this: ''I met my wife there,'' he said.
His family announced his death, saying he ''led the greatest life that one could lead.''
Ramsay was diagnosed with melanoma in 2004 and later battled growths and tumors that spread to his legs, lungs and brain, as well as prostate cancer and most recently a marrow syndrome.
Ramsay also spent several years late in life caring for his wife, Jean, who was diagnosed in 2001 with Alzheimer's disease. She died in 2010.
''Great man,'' Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson, who played at Saint Joseph's, wrote on Twitter. ''The Greatest Hawk ever. He will be missed but never Forgotten.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.