PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Trail Blazers announced Wednesday that former coach Mike Schuler passed away at the age of 81. The cause of death is still unknown.

Schuler served as the Blazers’ head coach from 1986-89. He was named the NBA Coach of the year in his first season with Portland after leading the Blazers to a 49-33 record. His .603 winning percentage is the third-best mark in franchise history.

“I had the pleasure of being both coached by Mike and coaching alongside him later in my career,” said Terry Porter, former Trail Blazers player and NBA coach. “Mike was a terrific coach and had a great intensity about his coaching style with a focus on bringing out the best in his players. From a colleague standpoint, I was extremely grateful to have him on my coaching staff to share his experience, knowledge and kindness with me.”

Schuler began his coaching career in 1965 as an assistant at Army. His collegiate coaching career included stops at Ohio, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Virginia and Rice — he was the head coach at VMI and Rice.

In 1981, after 16 years in the collegiate ranks, Schuler got his first NBA gig as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets in 1981. Along with being the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers from 1990-92, he also was an assistant for Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves over his 25 years in the association.

Schuler is survived by his daughter Kimberly S. Foxx, husband Bryan Foxx, and their children, Weston Michael Foxx and Madison Morgan Foxx. Also, daughter Kristin Schuler Baker, husband Rick Baker, their children Jaxson Schuler Baker, and Jordan Brooke Baker.