Billy Donovan | Head Coach
Billy Donovan is set to begin his first season as head coach of the Thunder after joining the organization on April 30, 2015. Donovan becomes the third head coach in Thunder history after enjoying an incredibly successful college coaching career that spanned more than two decades.
During the past 19 years as head coach at the University of Florida, Donovan led the Gators to two National Championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715). This past season, Donovan became the second youngest coach in NCAA history (Bob Knight) to claim 500 wins.
During his tenure at Florida, Donovan led the program to 16 straight 20-win seasons, three 30-win seasons, 17 consecutive trips to the postseason and six SEC Championships. Under Donovan, Florida advanced to the Elite Eight in six of the past 10 seasons.
Donovan concluded his time at Florida with the second most wins for a SEC program (467) in the history of the conference. Additionally, his 35 NCAA tournament wins rank as the most all-time among SEC coaches. Donovan’s win total is more than twice that of any other coach in Florida history.
After winning back-to-back national championships (2006 and 2007), Donovan led Florida to 18 straight postseason wins, the longest run for any program since John Wooden led UCLA to 28 straight postseason wins.
Donovan has been the recipient of numerous collegiate coaching awards including ESPN.com’s National Coach of the Year (2001), the Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” Honor (2010) and SEC Coach of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014).
In addition to his responsibilities at Florida, Donovan has served as head coach of USA Basketball’s U18 and U19 National Teams in each of the past three summers. As a head coach with USAB, Donovan’s teams have captured three gold medals while going a perfect 19-0 during national team competition. Prior to leading the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Team to the gold medal last summer in Colorado Springs, CO, Donovan guided the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team to a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal in Prague, Czech Republic, and the 2012 USA U18 National Team to a 5-0 slate and gold in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
Donovan’s coaching experience dates back to the 1989-90 season where he served as a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky. After five years with the Wildcats, Donovan was hired as head coach at Marshall, where he spent two years before leaving for Florida.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Donovan enjoyed a four-year playing career at Providence where he helped lead the Friars to their best season in school history and a trip to the Final Four in 1987. In addition, Donovan appeared in 44 games as a member of the New York Knicks during the 1987-88 season.
Monty Williams | Assistant Coach
Monty Williams is set to begin his first season with the Thunder after previously serving as the Head Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans from 2010-2015.
Williams helped guide New Orleans to the postseason twice and amassed an overall record of 173-221 (.439) in five seasons with the Pelicans.
Prior to his time in New Orleans, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach on the Portland Trail Blazers’ bench and one season as a coaching staff intern with the San Antonio Spurs where he earned a championship ring with the 2005 championship squad.
In 2013, he was named an assistant coach for the 2013-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, which he previously represented as a player. He served as an Assistant Coach on Team USA Men’s National Team that captured gold at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, going undefeated in the tournament.
The 24th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, Williams averaged 6.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 16.7 minutes in 456 games over nine seasons with New York, San Antonio, Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia.
He was an honorable mention All-American at Notre Dame after averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season. He earned a degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, majoring in communications and theatre.
Active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and many other charities, he was involved with fellow NBA guard Charlie Ward in distributing shoes and athletic equipment to impoverished communities in South Africa. In September of 2011 and August 2013, Williams went to South Africa as part of the NBA’s Basketball. Without Borders program.
Maurice Cheeks | Assistant Coach
Maurice Cheeks is set to begin his second stint on Oklahoma City’s coaching staff, bringing more than 30 years of NBA experience to the Thunder bench. Cheeks, who spent four seasons on the Thunder’s staff from 2009-2013, returns to Oklahoma City after serving as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons during the 2013-14 season. Overall, Cheeks has amassed a head coaching record of 305-315 (.492) with the Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers.
Before joining the Thunder in 2009, Cheeks served as head coach of the 76ers from 2005-2009, amassing a record of 122-147 and securing a playoff appearance in Philadelphia’s 2007-08 campaign. Prior to joining the Sixers, Cheeks spent three-plus seasons as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers (2001-05). During his time in Portland, he posted a 162-139 (.538) mark, accounting for the fourth-highest win total in Blazers coaching history. He helped the Blazers reach the NBA Playoffs twice, and his 2002-03 squad tied for second in the Pacific Division with a 50-32 record.
Preceding his work in Portland, Cheeks spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Sixers, working under head coaches John Lucas (1994-96), Johnny Davis (1996-97), and Larry Brown (1997-2001). In 2000-01 under Brown, Cheeks helped guide the 76ers to a record of 56-26 (.683) and a spot in the NBA Finals.
A 15-year NBA veteran, Cheeks retired from the NBA as its all-time leader in steals after playing with Philadelphia, San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey. He was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team five times (First Team: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986; Second Team: 1987) and played in four All-Star games (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988). A member of the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team, Cheeks was honored by the club through having his number (10) retired.
As an NBA player, Cheeks compiled career averages of 11.1 ppg, 6.7 apg and 2.1 spg in 1,101 games while shooting .523 from the field and .793 from the free throw line. A native of Chicago, he began his coaching career with the Quad City Thunder of the CBA. In his only season with Quad City, Cheeks helped guide the club to the CBA Championship.
The 1978 West Texas State (currently West Texas A&M) graduate was a four-year starter and three-time MVP in college. He finished his collegiate career third on the Buffs’ all-time scoring list, averaging 16.8 points per game while shooting 56.8 percent from the field as a senior. Cheeks was selected in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft (36th overall by the Sixers).
Anthony Grant | Assistant Coach
Anthony Grant joins the Thunder bench in 2015-16 after spending the past nine years serving as head coach at the University of Alabama and Virginia Commonwealth University. In nine seasons at Alabama and VCU, Grant compiled a record of 193-110 (.637) at the two schools.
During the past six years at Alabama, Grant amassed a record of 117-85 (.579) while guiding the Crimson Tide to the 2012 NCAA tournament, their first tournament berth since the 2006 season. Alabama also advanced to the NIT tournament on three occasions during Grant’s tenure.
In addition to leading Alabama to three straight 20-win campaigns, Grant also led the Tide to a winning record in SEC play for three consecutive seasons (2011-13). It marked the first time since the 1994-1996 seasons that Alabama had compiled three consecutive winning seasons in conference play.
Prior to Alabama, Grant spent three seasons as the head coach of VCU where he led the Rams to a 76-25 (.752) record while winning three consecutive Colonial Athletic Association Championships. Grant’s time at VCU was highlighted by a pair of NCAA tournament appearances and a 45-9 (.833) mark in CAA games.
A Miami native, Grant spent 10 years at the University of Florida (1996-2006) where he served under Billy Donovan. Grant helped lead the Gators to their first national title in 2006 before departing for VCU.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Grant enjoyed a successful collegiate playing career at the University of Dayton (1983-87). The Flyers went 70-49 (.588), with a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth during Grant’s time in uniform. In 105 games at Dayton, Grant averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and was named the team's most valuable player as a senior.
Mark Bryant | Assistant Coach
Mark Bryant is set to enter his ninth season as a Thunder assistant coach. During July of 2012, Bryant served as Head Coach of the Thunder’s summer league team.
Prior to joining the Thunder’s coaching staff, Bryant served as assistant coach/player development with the Orlando Magic from 2005-07.
Before his time in Orlando, Bryant spent the 2004-05 season with the Dallas Mavericks as a member of its player development staff.
Bryant enjoyed a 15-year playing career as the New Jersey native was a member of 10 different teams during his NBA playing tenure (1988-2003). Originally selected by Portland in the first round (21st pick overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft, Bryant helped the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. He appeared in 797 regular season games during his NBA career with Portland, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Denver and Boston, averaging 5.4 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 16.9 mpg. Bryant also appeared in 79 career playoff games, averaging 3.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 12.2 mpg.
Bryant was a First Team All-Big East selection as a senior at Seton Hall in 1987-88, averaging 20.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg for the Pirates. The 6-9 forward led the school to its first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Darko Rajakovic | Assistant Coach
Darko Rajakovic (RYE-ahk-oe-vich) enters his fourth season with the Oklahoma City Thunder organization and second as assistant coach. A Serbian native, Rajakovic spent his first two seasons with the organization as head coach of the Tulsa 66ers. Rajakovic became the first head coach born outside of North America in NBA D-League history. The 36-year-old boasts a diverse coaching background with an emphasis in player development.
Rajakovic holds a career NBA D-League record of 51-49. During his two seasons with the 66ers, Tulsa has been assigned seven players from Oklahoma City a total of 50 times (the most in the league during that stretch).
Rajakovic has also seen five of his 66ers players receive NBA GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA, including four to the Thunder (Grant Jerrett, Daniel Orton, Mustafa Shakur and Reggie Williams). He coached 11 Tulsa players over the past two years who were on an NBA roster in the 2013-14 season.
Prior to joining the 66ers, Rajakovic had spent the previous three years as the head coach of Espacio Torrelodones of the Spanish EBA League.
Rajakovic began his coaching career at 16 years old with BC Borac Cacak in Cacak, Serbia where he coached the club to two national tournaments.
Rajakovic received a basketball coaching degree from the Belgrade Basketball Academy in 2004 and a degree in sports management from BK University in Belgrade in 2006.
Billy Schmidt | Quality Control Coach
Billy Schmidt is set to begin his first season with the Thunder as a quality control coach after spending the past two decades coaching at the collegiate level.
Most recently, Schmidt spent the 2014-15 season at the University of Florida where he served under Billy Donovan as assistant to the head coach.
Before making the move to Gainesville, Schmidt spent the prior three seasons at Georgia Tech and eight seasons at the University of Dayton.
During his tenure at Dayton, Schmidt was named associate head coach prior to the start of the 2009-10 season. This came shortly after Schmidt was voted the Atlantic 10’s top assistant coach in a poll of league coaches. During his eight seasons with Dayton, Schmidt helped lead the Flyers to 172 victories, two NCAA Tournament appearances and three NIT berths.
Schmidt moved to Dayton after nine seasons coaching in the SEC, Big East and Big Ten. Schmidt enjoyed a pair of coaching stops under Tommy Amaker at Seaton Hall and Michigan.
Prior to Seton Hall, Schmidt worked under former Kevin O’Neill at Northwestern, where he was an assistant coach from 1997-2000, and at Tennessee from 1994-1997. Schmidt joined the Volunteer staff as an administrative assistant in 1994 and was promoted to an assistant coach in 1996.
A native of Stamford, Conn., Schmidt began his coaching career in the high school ranks, serving as an assistant coach to Steve Smith at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, for two years (1992-94). During his tenure, Oak Hill won back-to-back national championships.
Schmidt graduated with honors from Wake Forest in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education. While at Wake Forest, Schmidt was a manager and coaches’ aide for the Demon Deacons program for four years (1988-92). He holds a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the University of Tennessee.
Vin Bhavnani | Manager of Advance Scouting/Player Development
Vin Bhavnani enters his sixth season with Oklahoma City and his fourth as Manager of Advance Scouting. Bhavnani spent the previous two years serving as the team’s Video Coordinator. Prior to joining the Thunder, Bhavnani spent two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs as the Assistant Video Coordinator. He started his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers as an intern in the video department in 2004.
Prior to joining the Clippers, Bhavnani spent one season as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Santa Monica Junior College. The Los Angeles, California, native is a 2003 graduate of the University of Southern California.
Royal Ivey | Player Development Assistant
Royal Ivey is set to begin his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a player development assistant after spending the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League. In his role as a player development assistant, Ivey becomes the first former Oklahoma City player to join the Thunder’s coaching ranks.
During this past season with the Blue, Ivey helped guide the team to a 28-22 record and an appearance in the NBA D-League Playoffs.
Ivey enjoyed a 10-year NBA playing career that included 61 appearances as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 492 career NBA games (114 starts) with Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, Ivey averaged 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Ivey was a member of the Thunder for a combined 208 regular season and playoff games. After playing Oklahoma City in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Ivey most recently joined the Thunder via a 10-day contract during the 2013-14 season.
Ivey was originally selected with the 37th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Born in New York City, Ivey attended the University of Texas as a four-year starter for the Longhorns basketball team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied learning and science.