Gregg Popovich Named 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year

Popovich Wins 2nd Red Auerbach Trophy after Leading Spurs to League-Tying-Best 50 Victories

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  • NEW YORK – San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.

    Popovich, who also earned the honor in 2002-03, totaled 467 points, including 77 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

    In his 16th season as head coach of the Spurs, Popovich guided San Antonio to a league-tying-best 50-16 (.758) record. With Popovich at the helm, the Spurs ranked second in the league in scoring (103.7 ppg) and point-differential (+7.2). In the second half of the season, however, the Spurs were the league’s most dominant team, posting an NBA-best 26-6 (.813) record while averaging league highs in scoring (108.3 ppg) and point-differential (+10.8). In the process, Popovich guided the Spurs to their 15th consecutive postseason berth, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.

    The Spurs finished the season winning 10 straight games, 24 of their last 27 and 38 of their last 45. San Antonio won at least 50 games for the 13th consecutive season – all under Popovich’s tenure – surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers (1979-80 to 1990-91) for the longest streak in NBA history. The Spurs also set a franchise mark with three double-digit winning streaks.

    Popovich was named the Coach of the Month in February and March, giving him 14 Coach of the Month awards in his career, the most in league annals. His back-to-back wins marked the second time Popovich earned consecutive coaching honors (November and December, 2010).

    The longest tenured coach with the same team in all four major professional sports, Popovich holds the best winning percentage of the longest tenured coaches in the other three major professional sports (.679). In addition, his 847 victories with the Spurs ranks second all-time in NBA history for most wins with one team (Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz, 1,127)

    Popovich also supports the NBA Coaches for Kids program, a league initiative in partnership with the NBA Coaches Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched during the 2008-09 NBA season. To date, the program has provided more than 155,000 Boys & Girls Club members with the chance to attend NBA games. Youth participants also have the opportunity to meet with NBA coaches, general managers and athletic trainers and learn the fundamentals of the game, the values of sportsmanship and teamwork, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

    The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.

    Coach, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
    Gregg Popovich, San Antonio 77 24 10 467
    Tom Thibodeau, Chicago 27 53 21 315
    Frank Vogel, Indiana 7 27 45 161
    Lionel Hollins, Memphis 6 3 11 50
    Doc Rivers, Boston 1 4 9 26
    Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City 0 2 3 9
    Tyrone Corbin, Utah 0 1 6 9
    George Karl, Denver 1 0 2 7
    Mike Brown, L.A. Lakers 0 1 1 4
    Stan Van Gundy, Orlando 0 1 1 4
    Larry Drew, Atlanta 0 0 3 3
    Monty Williams, New Orleans 0 1 0 3
    Vinny Del Negro, L.A. Clippers 0 0 2 2
    Kevin McHale, Houston 0 0 2 2
    Alvin Gentry, Phoenix 0 0 1 1

    ALL-TIME NBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
    1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis
    1963-64 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco
    1964-65 - Red Auerbach, Boston
    1965-66 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia
    1966-67 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago
    1967-68 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis
    1968-69 - Gene Shue, Baltimore
    1969-70 - Red Holzman, New York
    1970-71 - Dick Motta, Chicago
    1971-72 - Bill Sharman, Los Angeles
    1972-73 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston
    1973-74 - Ray Scott, Detroit
    1974-75 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha
    1975-76 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland
    1976-77 - Tom Nissalke, Houston
    1977-78 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta
    1978-79 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City
    1979-80 - Bill Fitch, Boston
    1980-81 - Jack McKinney, Indiana
    1981-82 - Gene Shue, Washington
    1982-83 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
    1983-84 - Frank Layden, Utah
    1984-85 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
    1985-86 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta
    1986-87 - Mike Schuler, Portland
    1987-88 - Doug Moe, Denver
    1988-89 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix
    1989-90 - Pat Riley, LA Lakers
    1990-91 - Don Chaney, Houston
    1991-92 - Don Nelson, Golden State
    1992-93 - Pat Riley, New York
    1993-94 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta
    1994-95 - Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers
    1995-96 - Phil Jackson, Chicago
    1996-97 - Pat Riley, Miami
    1997-98 - Larry Bird, Indiana
    1998-99 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland
    1999-00 - Doc Rivers, Orlando
    2000-01 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia
    2001-02 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit
    2002-03 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
    2003-04 - Hubie Brown, Memphis
    2004-05 - Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix
    2005-06 - Avery Johnson, Dallas
    2006-07 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto
    2007-08 - Byron Scott, New Orleans
    2008-09 - Mike Brown, Cleveland
    2009-10 – Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City
    2010-11 – Tom Thibodeau, Chicago
    2011-12 – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio