Earl Timothy Cone (born December 14, 1957) is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He is the most accomplished coach in the PBA with 20 titles, including two Grand Slams. Cone is considered to be the greatest PBA coach ever. He is a known proponent of the triangle offense.
Alaska Milk (1989–2011)
In 1989, Cone took over as the coach of the Alaska Air Force with players such as the famed Bruise Brothers duo of Yoyoy Villamin and Ricky Relosa, and Abet Guidaben. A year later, Cone led the Air Force to the finals of the 1990 PBA Third Conference. Alaska blew a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series to suffer one of the biggest collapses in PBA history, losing to Purefoods in five games. But in 1991, Alaska won its first championship by defeating Ginebra San Miguel in the 1991 3rd Conference. That team was led by Jojo Lastimosa, Eugene Quilban and Bong Alvarez.
After several struggles, Cone's team would have a strong group of locals Lastimosa, Johnny Abarrientos, Bong Hawkins, Jeffrey Cariaso and Poch Juinio, while having import Sean Chambers for the Milkmen. From 1994 to 1998, the Milkmen won eight titles in 14 conferences during the stretch. The highlight of that run though would come in the 1996 season when Alaska won the coveted PBA Grand Slam, becoming the third franchise and the fourth team to win a Grand Slam in the history of the league.
While Alaska continued to dominate by adding Kenneth Duremdes in 1997. Duremdes, playing a limited role with the Pop Cola franchise, rose up to the occasion in 1998 under Cone's tutelage, winning the PBA Most Valuable Player Award at 24 years of age. That year, Cone was hired as the coach of the Philippine Centennial Team led by Duremdes, Abarrientos, Lastimosa, three players on Cone's Alaska team, and PBA stars Alvin Patrimonio, Marlou Aquino, Vergel Meneses and Allan Caidic. That team won a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand.
Alaska won the 2000 All-Filipino Cup, but afterwards, the team faced rebuilding and traded away several remnants of the old Alaska. Cone, however, would lead the young team of John Arigo and Ali Peek to runner-up finishes in the 2002 Governors' and All-Filipino Cup. A year later, the Aces added UAAP star Mike Cortez and Brandon Cablay, leading Alaska to the 2003 PBA Invitational Cup championship, Cone's 11th title.
On July 17, 2006, Manila Standard reported that after his 17 years of service Alaska is set to terminate Cone depending on a meeting between both parties after Cone's contract with the Aces expired on July 15. Rumors also speculated that his replacement will be his former assistant, former National team mentor Chot Reyes, with Cone staying on as team consultant.
However, a day later, the Aces' official website reported that Cone has agreed to a new deal to stay on as the team's head coach for the 2006–07 PBA season. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
On September 1, 2011, Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu announced that it has "released Tim Cone as head coach of the Alaska Aces" after his 22 years of service for the Alaska Aces. Uytengsu remarked that Cone requested to be released a week earlier. Cone was quick to deny in a press conference that he is set to coach B-Meg Llamados, another PBA team.
On September 14, 2011, Tim Cone was at the B-Meg Llamados practice that day and was introduced as the new head coach. He tapped former Alaska players Johnny Abarrientos and Jeffrey Cariaso as assistant coaches. The two new assistant coaches were joined by current assistant coach Koy Banal.
On October 25, 2013, the Llamados, under Cone's tutelage, won the PBA Governors Cup championship, after beating Petron Blaze Boosters. By winning the season-ending best-of-seven series 4-3, the former Purefoods ballclub won its second championship over the last five conferences and more importantly the 15th career title for Cone, putting the veteran coach in the company of the great Baby Dalupan at the top of the all-time list.
On February 26, 2014, Cone won his 16th PBA title as he guided the Mixers to their 11th title against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. They beat the E-Painters in six games. With this win, he broke legendary Baby Dalupan's record. On May 15, 2014, San Mig Coffee Mixers beat the Talk N' Text Tropang Texters in Game 4 of Best of 5 series, where San Mig earned the chance to capture the rare Grand Slam. This championship gave Tim Cone his 17th PBA Title. He clinched his 18th title, and again made history by being the first mentor to win two Grand Slams after he steered San Mig Coffee to become Grand Slam Champions while accomplishing four straight championships and grabbing the 2014 Governor's Cup title.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
On July 20, 2015, San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang confirmed the appointment of Cone as the new head coach of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. The reassignment of Cone will seek to end the curse of Ginebra which last won in the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
On October 4, 2016, Cone led Brgy. Ginebra to its first Finals appearance since 2013. Ginebra defeated sister team San Miguel Beermen in a do or die Game 5, 117-92. Ginebra went on to face the Meralco Bolts in the Finals and winning in six games (4-2), giving the team its first championship after 8 years of drought.
List of PBA championships
20× PBA champion, 32× Finals appearances
Alaska Franchise (13):
- 1991 Third Conference
- 1994 Governors'
- 1995 Governors'
- 1996 All-Filipino
- 1996 Commissioner's
- 1996 Governors'
- 1997 Governors'
- 1998 All-Filipino
- 1998 Commissioner's
- 2000 All-Filipino
- 2003 Invitational
- 2007 Fiesta
- 2010 Fiesta
Purefoods Franchise (5):
Cone was born in the United States and grew up in Oregon. He moved to the Philippines when he was nine years old after his father came to the country to work in the logging industry. He, along with his mother and sister, moved to Manila. He and his sister finished high school in International School Manila. He went on to attend college in the United States, spending two years at Menlo College in California where he played basketball. He finished his collegiate education at George Washington University. Cone said he had never thought of a career in basketball because “when you’re growing up as a young man, you don’t dream of being a coach.”
Cone is married to Cristina Viaplana with whom he has three children, Nikki, Kevin, and Trevor.
- Eberhardt, Doug; Prada, Mike (October 23, 2014). "The triangle's holy war". SB Nation. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Fopalan, Renee (September 14, 2011). "Cone named B-MEG Llamados' new coach". GMANetwork.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
- "Bowles carries B-MEG over Talk 'N Text to win Commissioner's Cup title". InterAksyon. InterAksyon. May 6, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- Sacamos, Karlo (October 25, 2013). "Brave San Mig in seventh heaven after holding off Petron to take PBA title". Spin.ph. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
- Dy, Richard (February 26, 2014). "Indomitable Barroca stands tall as San Mig wins title with emotional Game Six win". Spin.ph. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
- "IT'S DONE: SMC big boss Ramon Ang confirms Tim Cone move from Star to Ginebra". Spin.ph. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- Rafe Bartholemew (June 2010). Pacific Rims. New American Library. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-451-22999-1.