Directory: Ron Rothstein
With a resume highlighted by over 40 years in the game, Ron Rothstein brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as he continues in his third stint with the HEAT organization. The 2013-14 season marks Rothstein’s 34th season of involvement in professional basketball. Beginning as a regional scout in 1979, Rothstein has served as a head coach twice in the NBA, an assistant coach with five different franchises, as a regional scout with three teams and also spent one season as an NBA television analyst. During his 25 years on an NBA bench, his teams have made 17 postseason appearances, highlighted by three NBA championships, eight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, five Eastern Conference championships, five NBA Finals appearances and eight divisional championships. On June 2, 2011, in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, he reached a personal milestone when he coached in his 2,000th NBA career game.
The 2013-14 season marks Rothstein’s 10th as an assistant coach with Miami, but his ties to the HEAT organization are deep-rooted. He became the club’s first head coach on July 12, 1988 and guided the HEAT through its start-up and first three seasons, increasing the team’s victory total each year. He also served as general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Miami SOL during its three-year history. He then returned to the HEAT following one season as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers. Additionally, he stepped in as acting head coach during the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons while Pat Riley underwent and recovered from hip replacement surgery and when Riley, in his role of team President, scouted collegiate tournaments.
After his tenure as the HEAT’s first head coach, Rothstein spent two seasons with the Detroit Pistons, first as color commentator for radio and television broadcasts and a Western Conference scout, then as the club’s head coach for the 1992-93 season. In 1993, Rothstein became an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers under Mike Fratello, where he spent six seasons before making his return to South Florida to guide the SOL.
Rothstein began his NBA career in 1979 as the Northeastern regional scout for the Atlanta Hawks. In 1982, he moved to a similar position with the New York Knicks before becoming an assistant coach with the Hawks in 1983. After spending three seasons on the Hawks bench, Rothstein joined the Detroit coaching staff as an assistant in the summer of 1986 where he was credited with establishing the defensive mindset and principals that helped the Pistons reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 1987 and the NBA Finals in 1988.
Prior to joining the pro ranks, Rothstein enjoyed a successful coaching career at the college and high school level. He served as an assistant coach at Upsala College in New Jersey from 1974-75 and was selected the Westchester County Coach of the Year in 1979 while at Eastchester High School in New York.
Rothstein was a three-year starter on the University of Rhode Island basketball team and was captain of the 1963-64 squad that finished 19-7 and tied Connecticut for the conference championship. After graduating from URI in 1964, Rothstein earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York. He was inducted into the University of Rhode Island Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 and in 2010 he received the Ram Legend award from URI. Additionally, he was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Champions in 2005 and the Westchester County (NY) Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
Rothstein and his wife of 47 years, Olivia, reside in Miami and have two children. Their son David, lives in Miami with his wife, Patty, and their children, Aidan and Ava. Their daughter, Dana, also lives in Miami with her husband, Greg Brenner, and their children, Lucas and Hailey.