By Official Release
Posted May 1 2011 5:08PM
NEW YORK -- Chicago's Tom Thibodeau is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.
Thibodeau totaled 475 points, including 76 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
In his first season as a head coach, Thibodeau guided Chicago to a league-best 62-20 (.756) record, the most wins for a Chicago team since the 1997-98 Bulls also won 62. The 62 wins represented a 21-game improvement from the Bulls' 41-41 campaign in 2009-10, marking the third-best single-season turnaround in franchise history. Chicago was one of two teams, along with Boston, in the NBA this year that did not lose more than two games in a row.
With Thibodeau at the helm, the Bulls' defense held teams to 91.3 ppg, ranking second in that category to the Celtics (91.1 ppg). Chicago held opponents under their scoring average 59 times, going 52-7 in those games; and it held the opposition to 85 or fewer points an NBA-best 29 times (27-2).
Thibodeau was named NBA Coach of the Month three times in 2010-11 (January, March and April). He guided Chicago to an 8-0 mark in April as Bulls clinched the homecourt advantage throughout the postseason and finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak. He won the award for March after the Bulls went a league-best 13-3 and in the process surpassed Boston and Miami atop the Eastern Conference standings; they also clinched their first division title since 1997-98. He earned his first Coach of the Month honor in January, as he coached the Bulls to a 12-4 record, becoming the first Bulls head coach to earn the recognition since Scott Skiles in April 2006.
With 62 wins in his rookie campaign, Thibodeau joined Paul Westphal (62 in 1992-93) and Bill Russell (60 in 1966-67) as the only head coaches in NBA history who won 60 or more games in their first year as a head coach.
Thibodeau is only the third rookie head coach to enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed, joining Westphal and Jerry West (Los Angeles, 1976-77).
Before joining the Bulls organization, Thibodeau served the previous three seasons as the Associate Head Coach of the Celtics, helping guide the team to Finals appearances and the 2008 NBA championship.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
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