College - Montclair State
ASSISTANT COACH/DIRECTOR, PLAYER PERSONNEL

One of the game’s most-respected figures as a coach and executive, two-time NBA Champion Brendan Suhr is in his third full season with the Knickerbockers.

Originally joining the Knicks in spring 2004 as a scout, Brendan was named director, player personnel in September 2004. He also served as an assistant coach in 2004-05, and will again assume assistant coaching duties in 2006-07.

“The guys that I idolized growing up were the Knicks who won the NBA Championship in 1970 and 1973,” says the 55-year old New Jersey-native. “It’s very, very special; this franchise is very special. That building is very special. There’s a lot of things that are important about this year.”

The 2006-07 season marks Suhr’s 20th campaign as an NBA coach. He won a pair of World Championship rings as an assistant under Detroit’s Chuck Daly when the Pistons won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. Suhr was head scout for the fabled Gold medal-winning U.S. “Dream Team” at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and has also served as an assistant coach at two NBA All-Star Games, in 1988 at Chicago (under Mike Fratello) and in 1990 at Miami (under Daly).

Suhr hopes that the lessons learned from the Pistons’ championship years will prove valuable for a rebuilding Knicks squad.

“I think what I learned from my players in Detroit is that the idea of winning a championship is not about talking about it. It’s about keeping everything that you do in your life as that being the main thing and the reason that you play,” says Brendan. “If you’re in professional sports, and I don’t care what sport, the main thing has to be winning a championship, or else you don’t have a purpose.”

“Brendan is definitely a guy who’s been in the fire. He’s coached in championship games, he’s been a part of organizations from start-ups to completion,” says President, Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas, the leader of Detroit’s back-to-back title teams. “So he understands how to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.

“I guess the most important thing (is) he understands how to respond to being down. This is a league where you’re going to be down, but you’re going to have to have the resiliency to respond and come back. Brendan understands that and is capable of doing that. He’s an extremely hard worker, and his X and O knowledge is beyond question.” Brendan has served under some of the most distinguished coaches in NBA history. His NBA coaching career began with a nine-year stint (1979-80 through 1987-88) with the Atlanta Hawks, under Hubie Brown, Kevin Loughery and Fratello. After serving briefly as the Hawks’ assistant general manager in 1988, he joined Daly for four seasons - and two championships - in Detroit (1988-89 through 1991-92).

Suhr joined Daly again for two years as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets (1992-93 through 1993-94). More recently, Brendan has served as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors (1996-97) and Orlando Magic (1997-98 through 1998-99), then returned to the Pistons for one season (2000-01) as director of player personnel. For nine years, he served as vice president of the NBA Coaches Association.

“I always say (Daly) gave me what I call my Ph.D. in coaching,” says Suhr. “Hubie gave me my initial college degree, Mike Fratello gave me my Master’s degree and Chuck gave me my Ph.D.”

Suhr also brought his hoop acumen to the Continental Basketball Association, where he served as president, general manager and head coach of the Grand Rapids Hoops (1995-97), co-owning the team from 1996-99. He also served as the CBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations and industry relations, working closely with then-CBA owner Isiah Thomas implementing league policy. He was the CBA’s Coach of Year in 1995-96.

Brendan began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Detroit before moving to Fairfield University. He spent five seasons coaching at Fairfield, earning his Master’s degree in education administration in 1979. Prior to that, he earned an undergraduate degree in 1973 from Montclair State, where he played four years of basketball.

Born on Jun. 28, 1951, the Fair Lawn, NJ-native and his wife Brenda have two children, son Brendan Kelly (23) and daughter Christina (20). Brendan is also president and founder of Off the Court, Inc., which focuses on motivational speaking, talent maximization and instruction in both the athletic and corporate worlds. The Suhrs make their off-season home in Windermere, FL.