Riley to Step Down as Coach and Remain President
MIAMI, Oct. 24 - Miami HEAT President and Head Coach Pat Riley announced this afternoon that he has decided to step down as Head Coach of the Miami HEAT, but will continue to serve as team President. HEAT Managing General Partner Micky Arison and Riley jointly announced that former Assistant Head Coach Stan Van Gundy has been elevated to head coach. Van Gundy becomes the fifth head coach in franchise history.
Riley joined the HEAT as President and Head Coach on Sept. 2, 1995. He guided the HEAT to a 354-270 (.567) record with four Atlantic Division championships and six playoff berths in his eight seasons as the teams head coach. In addition to ranking as Miamis all-time victory leader, Riley ranks second on the NBAs regular season all-time list, compiling a 1,110-569 (.661) career mark in 21 seasons as an NBA head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami HEAT, and second on the all-time postseason list amassing a 155-100 (.608) mark. A future Hall of Famer, Riley has led his teams to four NBA championships as a head coach, eight conference championships and a league-record 16 division championships.
He is the only coach in league history to capture the NBA Coach of the Year Award with three different teams and his string of 19 consecutive playoff appearances as a head coach from 1982-2001 is a league record for consecutive postseason appearances. His 19 total appearances is tied for the most in NBA history. Additionally, when he won his 1,000th regular season game on Nov. 1, 2000, he became the fastest coach or manager to reach 1,000 wins in the history of the four professional sports in North America, bettering the previous mark held by Fred Clarke of the Pittsburgh Pirates by an astonishing 144 games. Riley recorded his 1,000th win in just his 1,434 game. On Mar. 11, 2003 he became the only coach in NBA history to register at least 350 wins with two franchises as he guided the HEAT to a 77-75 win in Cleveland. Riley currently stands as the all-time leader in both regular season and postseason victories for both the Lakers and the HEAT.
Van Gundy, who is in his ninth season with the HEAT, will make his NBA head coaching debut at Philadelphia on Oct. 28. The 44-year old Van Gundy, joined the HEAT as an assistant coach prior to the 1995-96 season and spent two years in that role before being promoted to Assistant Head Coach beginning with the 1997-98 season. Van Gundys responsibilities included the coordination of the assistant coaches for Riley and also serving as the teams head coach in summer league play. Prior to his arrival in Miami, Van Gundy spent eight seasons as a collegiate head coach where he compiled a 135-92 (.535) overall record. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Vermont, where he served from 1981-83. After serving a three-year stint as the head coach at Castleton State College, he left to accept assistant coaching positions at Canisius College (1987) and Fordham University (1988). He then spent four years as head coach at Massachusetts-Lowell and one year as head coach at the University of Wisconsin.
A native of Indio, CA, Van Gundy was a star guard at Alambra High School. He played in college for his father, Bill, at SUNY-Brockport, where he was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the entire SUNY system as a senior. Van Gundy graduated from SUNY-Brockport in 1981 with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Physical Education. His father also served as head basketball coach at Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y before retiring. Jeff Van Gundy, Stans younger brother, was the head coach of the New York Knicks (1996-2001), where he also worked under the tutelage of Riley from 1991-95 and is now the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Van Gundy and his wife, Kim, reside in Miami with their four children, Shannon (12), Michael (9), Alison (6), and Kelly, (4).