Tom Thibodeau embarks on his third season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics and his 18th year of coaching in the NBA. Thibodeau, who came to the team from the Houston Rockets, is known throughout the NBA as one of its finest defensive coaches. Thibodeau had helped the Rockets rank among the top five in the NBA in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense in each of the past four campaigns and has continued that trend with the Celtics.
In his now 17 NBA seasons, Thibodeau has helped his team finish in the NBA's Top 10 in team defense 14 times. He has also coached in 87 NBA playoff games in his career, including New York's appearance in the 1999 NBA Finals.
Prior to joining the Rockets, Thibodeau spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. During his tenurewith the Knicks, NewYork set a then-NBA record by holding 33 consecutive opponents under 100 points in the 2000-01 season. Thibodeau and the Knicks coaching staff also helped Jeff Van Gundy coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. Thibodeau entered the NBA in 1989 as an assistant coachwith the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves under the late Bill Musselman. After two seasons with the Timberwolves, he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 1991 as an advance scout. The following year, Thibodeaumoved to San Antonio,where heworked with Jerry Tarkanian and John Lucas as a Spurs assistant coach for two seasons. He left San Antonio to become an assistant coach under Lucas with the Philadelphia 76ers. Thibodeau's stay in Philadelphia lasted two seasons, at which point, he joined the Knicks.
Thibodeau's coaching career began in 1981 as an assistant coach at his almamater, Salem State College. After three years as an assistant, he became head coach in 1984. The following season, Thibodeau became an assistant coach at Harvard. He coached at Harvard for four years before leaving for the NBA.
A native of New Britain, Connecticut, Thibodeau graduatedwith a Bachelor of Science degree and a master's in counseling from Salem State College. He lettered in four seasons at Salem State. Thibodeau was also honored with induction into the New Britain, Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.