Billy Donovan | Head Coach
Entering his fourth season with the club, Billy Donovan has guided Oklahoma City to three straight playoff appearances and a 150-96 (.610) record, becoming the first NBA head coach to win 100-plus games in his first two seasons after coming directly from the college ranks. Moreover, Donovan is one of only three current NBA head coaches to win 100+ games in the first two seasons with their respective teams. Last season, Donovan helped lead the Thunder to a 48-win season and a four seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Donovan concluded his first year as head coach of the Thunder by leading the team to a 55-win season, a Northwest Division title and a spot in the Western Conference Finals. By accomplishing the feat, Donovan became just the third first year head coach in the last 15 years to win 55+ games during his first season.
Donovan was named the third head coach in Thunder history on April 30, 2015 after enjoying an incredibly successful college coaching career that spanned more than two decades.
During the previous 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).
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.
During the 2014-15 season, Donovan became the second youngest coach in NCAA history (Bob Knight) to claim 500 wins.
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.
Maurice Cheeks | Assistant Coach
Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks is set to begin his fourth year with Oklahoma City after returning to the Thunder bench after the start of the 2015-16 season. Cheeks brings more than 30 years of NBA experience to the Thunder bench. Cheeks, who spent four seasons on the Thunder’s staff from 2009-2013, returned 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.
Cheeks was recently selected to the 2018 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. 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).
Vin Bhavnani | Assistant Coach
Vin Bhavnani is set to begin his 11th season with Oklahoma City and his third as an assistant coach. Bhavnani spent his past five years with the Thunder organization as Manager of Advance Scouting/Player Development and his first 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.
Before 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.
Billy Schmidt | Quality Control Coach
Billy Schmidt enters his fourth season with the Thunder where he serves as a director of quality control after spending the previous two decades coaching at the collegiate level.
Prior to Oklahoma City, 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.
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.