College - Missouri
In two years, Larry Drew has guided the Atlanta Hawks to consecutive playoff appearances and last season managed his team through an abbreviated NBA campaign to finish with a 40-26 (.606) record and fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Picked by some to miss the playoffs entirely, the franchise reached the postseason for the fifth straight year, overcoming significant injuries to key players at various times over the season and winning at a 61% clip.
With only two of their core players seeing action in all 66 games, Drew had to juggle the lineup throughout the season following the absence of all-NBA center Al Horford (who missed 55 games after a left pectoral tear), the season-opening loss of tough-minded guard Kirk Hinrich (who missed the season's first 18 games after summer shoulder surgery), and the midseason departure of all-star guard Joe Johnson (knee tendinitis, six games) to reach the postseason for the fifth straight year. Despite those setbacks and adopting a 'no excuses' mantra, the Hawks bought into Drew's principles and still fought their way to four-of-five winning months and a 9-3 record in April.
The 11th full-time head coach in Hawks history, Drew has an 84-64 (.568) overall regular season record (8-10 in postseason). As a rookie head coach in 2010-11, Drew led the Hawks past Orlando in the first round of the 2011 Playoffs and fell two games shy of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in a series defeat against Chicago. His six wins were the most-ever by a rookie Atlanta coach in his first playoff appearance.
Drew has playing experience, having played with championship-caliber players like Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Byron Scott. He has also coached under individuals like Scott, Alvin Gentry and Doug Collins, and following 27 seasons as a player and coach, the work invested in those positions set the stage for Drew to obtain the job he had desired for some time, and after 18 years as an assistant, he was ready for the challenge when he was named to the top spot on June 12, 2010.
After working seven years in Atlanta prior to the ascension to the top spot, Drew was very familiar with the personalities of his players - as well as their strengths and weaknesses - and he used that knowledge effectively and efficiently as he has kept the Hawks amongst the top teams in the NBA.
Before arriving in Atlanta as the top assistant to then-head coach Mike Woodson in August 2004, Drew was an assistant with the New Jersey Nets and Scott after spending the previous three seasons with the Washington Wizards in a similar capacity (2000-03) under Collins. Prior to that, he re-joined one of the teams he previously played for, the Detroit Pistons, as an assistant coach in 1999-2000. Drew returned to Detroit as an assistant under Alvin Gentry, for the first time since playing with the team as a NBA rookie with the Pistons in 1980-81. His coaching career began in 1992-93 when he broke into the ranks with another of his former teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he played for from 1989-91.
An 11-year professional, Drew averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists in 714 career games for four NBA teams. After one season in Detroit, he played the next five years with the Kings, in Kansas City and Sacramento (1981-86), and his final four in Los Angeles (1986-91), for the Clippers and the Lakers. In addition, Drew spent one season internationally as a member of Scavolini of the Italian League in 1988-89.
He was a first round pick in the 1980 NBA Draft - 17th overall selection by the Pistons - and he reached postseason play four times in his pro career (31 games). Drew recorded his best season during the 1982-83 campaign, when he averaged 20.1 points, 8.1 assists and 1.7 steals for Kansas City.
Born April 2, 1958 in Kansas City, Kansas, Drew played four seasons at the University of Missouri, where he averaged 12.0 points and 2.8 rebounds and prepped at Wyandotte High in Kansas City. During the summer, Drew runs the Larry Drew Advanced Guard Academy in Los Angeles, and holds camps around the country.
Drew and his wife Sharon have three children, Larry, Landon and Lindsey. While Larry II is a senior point guard at UCLA, Landon is in his freshman season at Cal State Northridge, and youngest son Lindsey plays for Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.