DENVER – Vince Boryla, a former player, coach and general manager in the NBA, died Sunday. He was 89.
The death was confirmed by the Denver Nuggets and the University of Denver, where he’s a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
Before the Nuggets’ game against Dallas on Monday night, the team held a moment of silence to honor its former general manager. Boryla orchestrated a blockbuster deal with Portland in 1984 that brought Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever and Calvin Natt to town for Kiki Vandeweghe. Denver made it to the Western Conference finals that season and Boryla was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year.
Boryla played five seasons for the New York Knicks in the 1950s and averaged 11.2 points. He later took over as their coach for three seasons, going 80-85.
The Knicks and Nuggets each posted pictures of Boryla on their Twitter accounts, with the Nuggets adding: “Vince Boryla, our former GM and 1984-85 NBA Executive of the Year, passed away yesterday. RIP, Moose.”
Boryla also was a member of the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics.
Boryla is the only consensus All-American for the University of Denver in men’s basketball history. In 2013, the program renamed the Pioneer Award to the Vince Boryla ’49 Pioneer Award. It’s presented to the player who takes the extra step to make the program better.
He’s survived by his wife, Mary Jo, and five children, along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.