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NBA World Mourns Loss of Great Coach Lee Rose at 85


With profound sadness we inform you that Lee Rose’s obituary has been released, announcing that the former Purdue, Charlotte, and USF coach sadly passed away on April 5, 2022. May he rest in peace.

UNC Charlotte revealed that Rose died Tuesday in Charlotte but they did not provide a cause of death.

Lee Rose whose full name was Lee Hyden Rose was born on October 23, 1936, in Irvine, Kentucky. He was a former basketball coach and college athletic administrator.

NBA World Mourns Loss of Great Coach Lee Rose at 85
Image Source: Spectrum News

Rose served as the head of men’s basketball at Transylvania University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Purdue University, and the University of South Florida.

He twice coached teams to the Final Four of the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament. The first one was with the Charlotte 49ers in 1977 and the second one was with Purdue Boilermakers in 1980.

After leaving the college ranks, Lee was also an assistant coach with several teams in the National Basketball Association between 1986 and 2001.

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Lee Rose’s Obituary Shared

Lee Rose’s obituary did not mention his cause of death, but it contained the date and place of his death. His family also has not released any statement related to Lee Rose’s cause of death at this time.

Rose was a 1958 alumnus of Transylvania University where he worked as an assistant coach after graduation under C. M. Newton. Lee became the head coach and athletic director at UNC Charlotte in 1975. In three seasons Rose took the 49ers to one NIT championship game and to the NCAA Final Four.

The late coach was named The Sporting News National Coach of the Year, Charlotte’s “Citizen of the Year” and the Sun Belt Coach of the Year. In three seasons his record at Charlotte was 72–18 (.800).

In 1978 he left Charlotte for Purdue University and led them to the Final Four in 1980. Rose was one of only ten coaches in NCAA history to take 2 different schools to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Lee Rose's Death at 85

Lee left Purdue after two seasons and finished his coaching career at the University of South Florida. After retiring from the college ranks in 1986, Lee worked as an assistant coach for four NBA teams: the New Jersey Nets, the San Antonio Spurs, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Charlotte Hornets.

In the mid-1990s Rose also served as the Bucks’ vice president of player personnel. He and his wife, Eleanor, resided in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they attended every Charlotte 49ers basketball game.

The great coach was hired by Charlotte Bobcats on June 7, 2007, in order to be part of head coach Sam Vincent’s staff. Rose is survived by his wife, their sons Mike and Mark, and four grandchildren, Lee Rose; James Rose; Kristi Rose; and Alexzander Rose.

After Lee Rose’s death news was shared on social media, his friends and fans quickly flooded social media with condolence messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay Pigonant tributes to him.

Sports columnist Scott Fowler wrote on Twitter: “Lee Rose, the accomplished basketball coach who led both the Charlotte 49ers and Purdue to the Final Four, has died, according to a 49er spokesman. Condolences to the Rose family. Rose was 85.”

“Lee Rose, who coached North Carolina-Charlotte and Purdue to the Final Four, has passed away. It seems a shame he spent so many years as an NBA assistant because he was an outstanding college coach,” freelance journalist Mark Montieth tweeted.

“It’s sad to hear that Coach Lee Rose has passed away. I really enjoyed his basketball camps at Transylvania when I was a young boy. He had a wealth of very talented coaches who worked those camps. He was always a fine gentleman,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

The heartbreaking news came just hours after sources sadly announced Bourbon Street legend Chris Owens‘ death at the age of 89. We offer our deepest sympathies to her loved ones too.

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