College - Saint Joseph's
Jim O’Brien has 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional level. Most recently, he served as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004-2005 season. The Philadelphia native guided the 76ers to the playoffs with a 43-39 record, a 10 win improvement from the previous season.
O'Brien has served as an assistant coach at six different colleges, a head coach at the University of Dayton (1989-94) and Wheeling Jesuit (1982-87), and an NBA assistant coach with the New York Knicks (1987-89) in addition to his seven years with the Boston Celtics as an assistant coach (1997-2001) and a head coach (2001-04).
After serving as an assistant coach in Boston from 1997-2001, O'Brien was named interim head coach of the Celtics on Jan. 8, 2001, following the departure of Rick Pitino. He signed a multi-year contract as head coach on April 24, 2001. On Jan. 27, 2004, Boston announced O'Brien's resignation as head coach.
During his four seasons as a head coach, O'Brien led Boston to a 139-119 (.539) record and back-to-back playoff appearances in 2002 and 2003. In 2002 that playoff appearance included a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the team's 1987-88 campaign.
As interim head coach for the final 48 games of the 2000-01 season, O'Brien led the Celtics to a .500 record (24-24). The following season, his first full season as head coach, O'Brien directed Boston to its best record (49-33, .598) since the 1991-92 campaign as the Celtics made their first playoff appearance since the 1994-95 season. The Celtics defeated Philadelphia in five games in the opening round and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were defeated by New Jersey in six games.
Prior to joining the Celtics as an assistant coach, O'Brien served as an associate head coach to Pitino from 1994-97 at the University of Kentucky. During those three years the Wildcats posted a 95-12 record, winning the NCAA National Championship in 1996 and losing in overtime in the 1997 title game.
As head coach at the University of Dayton from 1989-94, O'Brien led the Flyers to a 61-87 (.412) record. In his first season (1989-90), the Flyers posted a 22-10 record, capturing the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) Tournament championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to coaching at Dayton, O'Brien was an assistant coach for Pitino with the New York Knicks. In 1987-88, the Knicks notched a 14-win improvement over the previous season and qualified for the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four years.
Before taking the Knicks post, O'Brien served as the head coach at Wheeling Jesuit College (1982-87) and posted a 74-69 (.517) record in five seasons. Overall, O'Brien posted a 135-156 (.464) collegiate record in 10 seasons as a head coach.
O'Brien also held coaching positions at the University of Oregon (Assistant Coach 1978-82), Saint Joseph's University (Assistant Coach 1977-78), the University of Maryland (Assistant Coach 1976-77), Pembroke State College (Assistant Coach 1975-76), and Wheeling Jesuit College (Assistant Coach 1974-75).
As a player, O'Brien was a three-year starter at Saint Joseph's University, where he led his teams to three post-season appearances (NIT in 1972, NCAA in 1973 and 1974). He was named team co-MVP his senior season, and was selected to both the Saint Joseph's Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Big Five Hall of Fame in 1989. Prior to attending Saint Joseph's, O'Brien was a high school standout at Roman Catholic in Philadelphia, winning the Markward Award for city's top senior cager in 1970.
O'Brien earned a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Marketing from Saint Joseph's in 1974 and received his MBA from the University of Maryland in 1981. O'Brien (born Feb. 11, 1952) and his wife, Sharon, have three children: Jack, Shannon, and Caitlyn. Sharon O'Brien is the daughter of Hall of Fame coaching legend Dr. Jack Ramsay, a former Sixers general manager and head coach.