Finch Named Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year
|Chris Finch (Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images)|
April 19, 2010
MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA Development League announced today that Western Conference Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Chris Finch is the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year.
“I’m very honored to receive this award and, as with any individual reward, it’s a reflection on everyone else around you. From our assistants to our players to our ownership and management, both locally and in Houston,” Finch said.
Finch will be presented with the award prior to tonight’s must-win playoff game against the Austin Toros at 7:30 p.m. at State Farm Arena. It is Finch’s fifth career Coach of the Year award.
“As an organization we are very fortunate to have Chris Finch as our head coach and we appreciate his commitment and dedication to the success of this team and so we would like to congratulate him as the NBA D-League Coach of the year. Chris and his staff served as the foundation for the most successful season in Vipers history, as they led the team to its first Western Conference title and its first playoff season. Chris is a very talented individual and his ability to come into a new league and have the type of success he’s had speaks highly of his capacity to direct our team both on and off the floor. His leadership and fortitude were very apparent in guiding the Vipers through a season that included a league record ten GATORADE Call-Ups, five Houston Rockets assignments and a high rate of overall roster movement. Despite that, he still found a way to finish the season with a 34-16 record, an improvement of 13 wins which served as the second best turn around in league history. Chris was one of the key reasons why the single-affiliate relationship between the Houston Rockets and the Vipers was such a great success and we look forward to greater results in the future with Chris leading the way,” Vipers General Manager Gersson Rosas said.
Finch guided the Vipers to a franchise-best 34-16 record and their first post-season berth. It’s Finch’s 12th career-playoff berth in 13 seasons as a head coach. He has won seven championships, including six in six seasons with Sheffield (England, 1997-2003), compiling the best record in the league during that span. He also led Bree BCC (Belgium) to their first-ever championship in 2005.
Finch and his coaching staff of Paul Mokeski and Jai Steadman, as well as athletic trainer/strength and condition coach from Performance Therapeutics Joe Resendez, led the Western Conference All-Star team to a win over the Eastern Conference on February 13 in Dallas.
Finch also serves as head coach of the British National Team, who he will lead into the 2012 London Olympics.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the NBA Development League affiliate of the NBA Houston Rockets. The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and features 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams. 63 former NBA Development League players were on 2009-10 NBA start-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 15 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Development League Cares programs. The NBA Development League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA Development League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.