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Randy Wittman

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Randy Wittman
Wittman in 2011 as Wizards assistant coach
Personal information
Born (1959-10-28) October 28, 1959 (age 64)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolBen Davis (Indianapolis, Indiana)
CollegeIndiana (1978–1983)
NBA draft1983: 1st round, 22nd overall pick
Selected by the Washington Bullets
Playing career1983–1992
PositionShooting guard
Number10, 14
Coaching career1992–2016
Career history
As player:
19831988Atlanta Hawks
1988–1989Sacramento Kings
19891992Indiana Pacers
As coach:
1992–1993Indiana Pacers (assistant)
1993–1994Dallas Mavericks (assistant)
19941999Minnesota Timberwolves (assistant)
19992001Cleveland Cavaliers
20012005Minnesota Timberwolves (assistant)
2005–2006Orlando Magic (assistant)
20062008Minnesota Timberwolves
20092012Washington Wizards (assistant)
20122016Washington Wizards
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points4,034 (7.4 ppg)
Rebounds760 (1.4 rpg)
Assists1,201 (2.2 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Randy Scott Wittman (born October 28, 1959) is an American former basketball player at the guard position and former coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Washington Wizards.

Playing career[edit]

High school[edit]

Wittman starred for Indianapolis Ben Davis High School from 1975–1978. He averaged more than 23 points a game for Ben Davis, which remains the second-highest average at the school, and became one of the nation's top recruits.[1] In 1978 he was second to Brad Leaf of all Marion County, Indiana, scorers.[2]


The 6'6" Wittman played college basketball from 1979–1983 for Bob Knight and the Indiana University Hoosiers. The 1979–80 Hoosiers, led by Isiah Thomas, won the Big Ten championship and advanced to the 1980 Sweet Sixteen. The following season, in 1980–81, the Hoosiers once again won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA Championship, beating the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Hoosiers trailed the entire first half of the game until Wittman scored at the halftime buzzer with a deep corner shot.[3][4] The Hoosiers went on to win the game by a 63-50 tally, making the 1981 NCAA tournament the school's fourth national title.

In 1982–1983, with the leadership of Wittman, the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers were favorites to win another national championship. However, with an injury to star player Ted Kitchel mid-season, the Hoosiers' prospects were grim. Knight asked for fan support to rally around the team and, despite long odds, the team ultimately won the Big Ten title. Nevertheless, in the tournament Kitchel's absence was felt and the team lost to Kentucky in the 1983 Sweet Sixteen. Wittman was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus second team All-American in 1983. He became a member of Indiana's Hall of Fame and was named to Indiana's Silver Anniversary Basketball Team, in March 1996.


Wittman was selected by the Washington Bullets with the 22nd pick of the 1983 NBA draft. However, he never played for the Bullets with his rights being traded to the Atlanta Hawks.

Wittman spent the early portion of his career with the Hawks, sharing backcourt with Glenn "Doc" Rivers and Anthony "Spud" Webb, and starting most of the games from 1985–88 (while averaging 12 points and 3.5 assists in those years combined).

After a small spell with the Sacramento Kings, he became a fringe player with the Indiana Pacers, retiring in 1991–92 after three unassuming years. For his career, Wittman averaged 7.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, shooting just over 50% from the field.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1992, Wittman began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach, first with the Pacers. He spent one season in Indianapolis and another with the Dallas Mavericks (and later with the Orlando Magic).

Subsequently, Wittman spent from 1994–99 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, in the same capacity. During that period, he helped in the development of Wolves' star forward Kevin Garnett. Wittman then served as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for two seasons, (1999–2001), compiling a record of 62-102.

On January 23, 2007, Wittman became the head coach of the Timberwolves, succeeding Dwane Casey; he had already started the season as assistant to the former.

On December 8, 2008, club owner Glen Taylor fired Wittman after a 4-19 start, asking Kevin McHale to step in, in a complete change of the organization's structure, as the former Boston Celtics great had been Minnesota's vice-president of basketball operations since 1995.

Wittman became acting head coach of the Washington Wizards, accepting the position after Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012 for a 2-15 start. On June 4, 2012, the Wizards announced that Wittman would be retained as the official head coach of the team for the 2012–2013 season.[5]

The Wizards improved from 29-53 to 44-38 during the 2013–14 season, which included advancing to the second round of the playoffs for just the third time since 1979 before losing to the Indiana Pacers in six games. The Wizards had a 5-1 record in away games during both series, but were unable to win a home game in the second round. Wittman was praised for his strategy and leadership throughout the playoffs by both players and management alike.

Wittman signed an extension to remain head coach of the Wizards on June 3, 2014.[6]

The Wizards fired Wittman on April 13, 2016 after the team missed the playoffs.[7][8]

On September 18, 2017, Wittman was hired by the Orlando Magic as a coaching consultant.[9]

Personal life[edit]

His son Ryan Wittman starred for the Cornell Big Red basketball team; he helped lead the Big Red to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years during the 2007–08 season, again in 2009,[10] and to Cornell's first-ever NCAA basketball tournament victories in 2010 over the Temple Owls and Wisconsin Badgers as the Big Red made its first-ever trip to the NCAA Men's Sweet 16.[11]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Cleveland 1999–00 82 32 50 .390 6th in Central Missed playoffs
Cleveland 2000–01 82 30 52 .366 6th in Central Missed playoffs
Minnesota 2006–07 42 12 30 .286 4th in Northwest Missed playoffs
Minnesota 2007–08 82 22 60 .268 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
Minnesota 2008–09 19 4 15 .211 (fired)
Washington 2011–12 49 18 31 .367 4th in Southeast Missed playoffs
Washington 2012–13 82 29 53 .354 3rd in Southeast Missed playoffs
Washington 2013–14 82 44 38 .537 2nd in Southeast 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Conference semifinals
Washington 2014–15 82 46 36 .561 2nd in Southeast 10 6 4 .600 Lost in Conference semifinals
Washington 2015–16 82 41 41 .500 4th in Southeast Missed playoffs
Career 684 278 406 .406 21 12 9 .571


  1. ^ "Records – Season – Ben Davis High School". Ben Davis High School. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "Leaf Happy to be "Home" in Indiana". Indiana Pacers. June 23, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Graham, Andy (April 8, 2001). "Thomas led Hoosiers to 1981's promised land". HeraldTimesOnline.com. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  4. ^ McCarthy, Alex (June 2, 2016). "Throwback Thursday: Wittman reflects on 1981 championship". 247Sports. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  5. ^ "Wittman to return as Wizards head coach". Washington Post. 2012-06-04.
  6. ^ "WITTMAN SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION". NBA.com. June 3, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  7. ^ "WIZARDS PART WAYS WITH WITTMAN". WizardsToday.MonumentalSportsNetwork.com. April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "Wizards fire coach Randy Wittman after team misses playoffs". ESPN.com. April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "Magic Promote Jay Hernandez and Matt Hill to Assistant Coach; Randy Wittman Added to Staff as Coaching Consultant". NBA.com. September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Thamel, Pete (2009-02-26). "At Cornell, a Player Stands Out by Blending In". New York Times.
  11. ^ Feinstein, John (2010-03-20). "Cornell did just about everything right in its 2010 NCAA basketball tournament opener". Washington Post.

External links[edit]