List of NBA championship head coaches

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a major professional basketball league in North America. It was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA).[1] The league adopted its current name at the start of the 1949–50 season when it merged with the National Basketball League (NBL).[2] The league consists of 30 teams, of which 29 are located in the United States and one in Canada. In the NBA, a head coach is the highest ranking coach of a coaching staff. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than the assistant coaches.

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson won eleven NBA championships, the most in NBA history. He won six titles with the Chicago Bulls and five titles with the Lakers, and is the only coach who has won multiple championships with more than one team. Red Auerbach won nine championships with the Boston Celtics and won eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. John Kundla, Pat Riley, and current San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich have each won five championships. Kundla won all of his titles with the Lakers, and Popovich has won all of his titles with the Spurs, while Riley won four titles with the Lakers and one with the Miami Heat. Current Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has won three championships, while current Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has won two titles. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, and Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue are the only other active coaches who have won a championship, Rivers having won while with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Of the championship head coaches, 14 (Auerbach, Larry Brown, Carlisle, Bill Fitch, Tom Heinsohn, Red Holzman, Jackson, Dick Motta, Popovich, Riley, Kerr, Rivers, Bill Sharman, and Lenny Wilkens) have won the Coach of the Year Award. 12 (Auerbach, Brown, Chuck Daly, Alex Hannum, Heinsohn, Holzman, Jackson, Kundla, Jack Ramsay, Riley, Sharman, and Wilkens) have been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.[3] Several more have been enshrined as players or contributors. Fourteen of the head coaches also won championships as players, with both Buddy Jeannette and Bill Russell having won their only manager titles as player-coach. Riley and Lue are two of the only three coaches (Paul Westhead being the third) who have led teams to titles having only arrived in mid-season.[4][5]

Key[edit]

Yrs Number of years coached
GC Games coached
W Wins
L Losses
Win% Winning percentage
^ Denotes coach who is currently coaching an NBA team
* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach
*^ Active NBA coach who has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

List[edit]

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2017–18 season.

Number won Coach Team(s) won with (years)[a] Coaching career[b] Yrs GC W L Win% GC W L Win% Ref.
Regular season Playoffs
11 Phil Jackson* Chicago Bulls (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
19891998, 19992004, 20052011 20 1,640 1,155 485 .704 333 229 104 .688 [6]
9 Red Auerbach* Boston Celtics (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966) 19461966 20 1,417 938 479 .662 168 99 69 .589 [7]
5 John Kundla* Minneapolis Lakers (1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954) 19481958, 1958–1959 11 725 423 302 .583 95 60 35 .632 [8]
5 Pat Riley* Los Angeles Lakers (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
Miami Heat (2006)
19812003, 20052008 24 1,904 1,210 694 .636 282 171 111 .606 [9]
5 Gregg Popovich^ San Antonio Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) 1996–present 21 1,656 1,150 506 .694 272 166 106 .610 [10]
3 Steve Kerr^ Golden State Warriors (2015, 2017, 2018) 2014–present 4 328 265 63 .808 83 63 20 .759 [11]
2 Chuck Daly* Detroit Pistons (1989, 1990) 19811994, 19971999 14 1,075 638 437 .593 126 75 51 .595 [12]
2 Alex Hannum* St. Louis Hawks (1958)
Philadelphia 76ers (1967)
19561958, 19601968, 19691971 12 883 471 412 .533 81 47 34 .580 [13]
2 Tom Heinsohn* Boston Celtics (1974, 1976) 19691978 9 690 427 263 .619 80 47 33 .588 [14]
2 Red Holzman* New York Knicks (1970, 1973) 19541957, 19671977, 19781982 18 1,300 696 604 .535 106 58 48 .547 [15]
2 K. C. Jones Boston Celtics (1984, 1986) 19741976, 19831988, 19901992 10 774 522 252 .674 138 81 57 .587 [16]
2 Bill Russell Boston Celtics (1968, 1969) 19661969, 19731977, 1987–1988 8 631 341 290 .540 61 34 27 .557 [17]
2 Rudy Tomjanovich Houston Rockets (1994, 1995) 19922003, 2004–2005 13 943 527 416 .559 90 51 39 .567 [18]
2 Erik Spoelstra^ Miami Heat (2012, 2013) 2008–present 9 722 440 282 .609 113 70 43 .619 [19]
1 Al Attles Golden State Warriors (1975) 19691983 14 1,075 557 518 .518 61 31 30 .508 [20]
1 Larry Brown* Detroit Pistons (2004) 19761979, 19811983, 19882006, 20082010 27 2,002 1,098 904 .548 193 100 93 .518 [21]
1 Rick Carlisle^ Dallas Mavericks (2011) 20012007, 2008–present 15 1,214 694 520 .572 120 58 62 .483 [22]
1 Al Cervi Syracuse Nationals (1955) 19491956, 1958–1959 9 567 326 241 .575 60 34 26 .567 [23]
1 Larry Costello Milwaukee Bucks (1971) 19681976, 1978–1979 10 730 430 300 .589 60 37 23 .617 [24]
1 Billy Cunningham Philadelphia 76ers (1983) 19771985 8 650 454 196 .698 105 66 39 .629 [25]
1 Bill Fitch Boston Celtics (1981) 19701988, 19891992, 19941998 25 2,050 944 1,106 .460 109 55 54 .505 [26]
1 Edward Gottlieb Philadelphia Warriors (1947) 19461955 9 581 263 318 .453 32 15 17 .469 [27]
1 Lester Harrison Rochester Royals (1951) 19481955 7 476 295 181 .620 38 19 19 .500 [28]
1 Buddy Jeannette Baltimore Bullets (1948) 19471952, 19641966, 19661968 7 354 151 203 .427 24 14 10 .583 [29]
1 Tyronn Lue^ Cleveland Cavaliers (2016) 2016–2018 2 123 78 45 .634 39 29 10 .744 [30]
1 Dick Motta Washington Bullets (1978) 19681980, 19801987, 19901991, 19941997 25 1,952 935 1,017 .479 126 56 70 .444 [31]
1 Jack Ramsay* Portland Trail Blazers (1977) 19691972, 19731988 21 1,647 864 783 .525 102 44 58 .431 [32]
1 Doc Rivers^ Boston Celtics (2008) 19992003, 20042013, 2013–present 18 1,388 804 584 .579 161 82 79 .509 [33]
1 George Senesky Philadelphia Warriors (1956) 19551958 3 216 119 97 .551 20 10 10 .500 [34]
1 Bill Sharman* Los Angeles Lakers (1972) 19661968, 19711977 7 573 333 240 .581 62 35 27 .565 [35]
1 Paul Westhead Los Angeles Lakers (1980) 19791981, 1982–1983, 19901992 6 407 183 224 .450 19 13 6 .684 [36]
1 Lenny Wilkens* Seattle SuperSonics (1979) 19691972, 19741976, 19771985, 19862003, 20042005 32 2,487 1,332 1,155 .536 178 80 98 .449 [37]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

General
  • "NBA Coach Register". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  • "All-Time Regular Season Victories-Coaches". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
  • "All-Time Playoffs: Coaches Won-Loss". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Specific
  1. ^ Goldaper, Sam. "The First Game". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  2. ^ "1949–50 Season Overview: Powerful Lakers Repeat". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  3. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "NBA coaches who have won NBA championships as players, too". Fox Sports. June 17, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Vogel, Brandon (June 20, 2016). "Hot Reads: Tryonn". Hail Varsity. Archived from the original on June 21, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Phil Jackson Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Red Auerbach Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  8. ^ "John Kundla Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  9. ^ "Pat Riley Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Gregg Popovich Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Steve Kerr Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  12. ^ "Chuck Daly Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  13. ^ "Alex Hannum Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  14. ^ "Tom Heinsohn Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Red Holzman Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  16. ^ "K. C. Jones Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "Bill Russell Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "Rudy Tomjanovich Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  19. ^ "Erik Spoelstra Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  20. ^ "Al Attles Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  21. ^ "Larry Brown Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  22. ^ "Rick Carlisle Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  23. ^ "Al Cervi Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  24. ^ "Larry Costello Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  25. ^ "Billy Cunningham Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  26. ^ "Bill Fitch Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  27. ^ "Edward Gottlieb Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  28. ^ "Les Harrison Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  29. ^ "Buddy Jeanette Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  30. ^ "Tyronn Lue Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  31. ^ "Dick Motta Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  32. ^ "Jack Ramsay Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  33. ^ "Doc Rivers Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  34. ^ "George Senesky Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  35. ^ "Bill Sharman Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  36. ^ "Paul Westhead Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  37. ^ "Lenny Wilkens Coaching Record". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 15, 2010.