Pelicans name Stan Van Gundy head coach

October 22, 2020

The New Orleans Pelicans have named Stan Van Gundy as the team’s head coach, it was announced today by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. Van Gundy becomes the seventh coach in Pelicans franchise history. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome Stan, his wife Kim and their family to the New Orleans Pelicans,” said Griffin. “Stan’s track record of success as a head coach speaks for itself. His ability to teach while building genuine relationships was one of his many strengths that drew us to him. We feel like we are hiring one of the most accomplished leaders and authentic human beings in the NBA.”

“I am honored and excited to coach this talented group of players in New Orleans,” said Van Gundy. “This opportunity was one that I was really attracted to due in large part to David Griffin’s record of putting together highly competitive, talented teams in a great family atmosphere. When I got into the interview process and had a chance to meet with Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha, Griff, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash and the Pelicans front office, it became clear how committed and invested they are to winning. My wife Kim and I want to thank Mrs. Benson, along with Griff, Trajan, Swin and the front office for welcoming our family and entrusting me to lead this team. We look forward to working with this great organization and getting involved in the New Orleans community.”

Van Gundy joins New Orleans after spending last season as a game analyst for TNT and studio analyst for NBA TV, and the previous season as an analyst for ESPN. Prior to his television stint, Van Gundy served as the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2014-18, amassing a record of 152-176 (.463) and leading the franchise to their first playoff berth in 2016 after a six-year drought.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Stan and his family to New Orleans,” said Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson. “Stan’s basketball acumen and record of accomplishment are a tremendous fit for this team right now. We look forward to Stan bringing a level of sustained success for our Pelicans on the court. I also want to commend David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash and the entire front office for the time and effort put into this comprehensive head coaching search.”

A native of Indio, California, Van Gundy has a career regular season record of 523-384 (.577) with Miami (2003-06), Orlando (2007-12) and Detroit, and a career playoff record of 48-43 (.527), qualifying for the postseason in eight of the 12 seasons he has served as a head coach. Van Gundy’s most successful stint came in Orlando, where he helped lead the Magic to five consecutive postseason appearances, highlighted by an Eastern Conference Championship and a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals. During his tenure with the Magic, the team compiled a 259-135 (.657) regular season record, and Van Gundy was selected as head coach of the Eastern Conference for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. From 2007-11, Van Gundy’s Magic teams finished in the top five each season in plus/minus, and top 10 each season in three-point shooting, offensive rating and defensive rating.

Van Gundy began his NBA head coaching career in Miami, where he led the HEAT to a record of 112-73 (.605) over three seasons, and was named head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star team during the 2004-05 campaign. That season, Miami finished with a 59-23 (.720) regular season record and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Prior to being named the head coach in Miami, Van Gundy served as an assistant coach with the HEAT from 1995-2003.

A graduate of SUNY Brockport (NY), where he played on the men’s basketball team for his father, Bill, Van Gundy began his coaching career in the college ranks, and served as the head coach at Division III Castleton College (NY) (1983-86), then-Division II University of Massachusetts-Lowell (1988-92) and the University of Wisconsin (1994-95). During his eight years as a collegiate head coach, Van Gundy compiled a record of 135-92 (.595).