May 10, 2016
May 10, 2016
LOS ANGELES – Rex Hughes, who was a men’s basketball assistant coach at USC in the mid-1970s and then a head coach collegiately and in the NBA, died on Monday (May 9) in Nipomo, Calif., of cancer. He was 77.
Hughes was an assistant at USC for 2 years (1973-74) under Bob Boyd as the Trojans went 42-15 overall and advanced to post-season play both seasons.
He then became the head coach at Kent State for 4 seasons (1975-78), followed by a 2-year (1979-80) stint as an assistant coach at UNLV. He also was the coach and general manager of the Western Basketball Association’s Montana minor league franchise in 1979.
Hughes was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings for 2 seasons (1991-92), even serving as interim head coach for 57 games in the 1992 season. He then was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs in 1993 (spending 1 game that season as the team’s interim head coach) and with the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1996 and 1997.
In his career, he also worked in scouting and basketball operations with the Kings, Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic.
Hughes began his coaching career at North Torrance (Calif.) High in 1963, guiding the B team. After a season in Belgium playing AAU basketball, he became the head coach at his alma mater, Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach (Calif.), for 4 years (1965-68), compiling an 81-32 record. He was head coach at Long Beach City College in 1969, posting a 23-5 mark, before going to Nebraska for 3 seasons (1970-72), the first as the freshman coach and then the next 2 years as a varsity assistant before joining USC’s staff.
He starred in basketball and football at Redondo Union High and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. He then attended Baylor before transferring to Pepperdine, where he was the Waves’ basketball captain in 1961.
He is survived by his wife Patti, sons Jeff and Rich, grandchildren Allison, Lauren and Jackson, brother Lindsey and sister Donna.
No services are planned.