NBA Coach of the Year Award

The National Basketball Association's Coach of the Year is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1962–63 NBA season. The winner receives the Red Auerbach Trophy, which is named in honor of the head coach who led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships from 1956 to 1966. The winner is selected at the end of the regular season by a panel of sportswriters from the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points; each second-place vote is worth three points; and each third-place vote is worth one point. The person with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.[1]

National Basketball Association Coach of the Year Award
LeagueNational Basketball Association
Given forCoach deemed most integral to his team's success in regular season of the National Basketball Association
First award1962–63
Most winsDon Nelson
Pat Riley
Gregg Popovich (tied, 3)
Most recentNick Nurse
Toronto Raptors

Since its inception, the award has been given to 40 different coaches. The most recent award winner is current Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who is also the first coach to receive this honor in both the NBA and the NBA G League, having received the G League award in 2011.[2] Gregg Popovich, Don Nelson and Pat Riley have each won the award three times, while Hubie Brown, Mike Budenholzer, Mike D'Antoni, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons, and Gene Shue have each won it twice. No coach has won consecutive Coach of the Year awards. Riley is the only coach to be named Coach of the Year with three franchises.[3] Larry Bird is the only recipient to have also been named MVP as a player. Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, and Lenny Wilkens are the only recipients to have been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as both player and coach. Johnny Kerr is the only person to win the award with a losing record (33–48 with the Chicago Bulls in 1966–67). Kerr was honored because he had guided the Bulls to the NBA Playoffs in their first season in the league.[4] Doc Rivers is the only person to win the award despite his team not making the playoffs (41–41 with the Orlando Magic in 1999–2000). Only five recipients also coached the team that won the championship the same season: Red Auerbach, Red Holzman, Bill Sharman, Phil Jackson, and Gregg Popovich. Popovich is the only NBA Coach of the Year recipient to win the championship in the same season twice, winning the NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003 and 2014.

2015–16 recipient Steve Kerr only coached 39 of the 82 games in the season due to complications from offseason back surgery, though he received credit for all of the Golden State Warriors' 73 wins that season. Assistant coach Luke Walton served as interim head coach for the other 43 games for the Warriors, receiving one second-place vote and two third-place votes.[5]


Hall of Famer Red Auerbach won the award in the 1964–65 season. The award was later named after him.
Hall of Famer Phil Jackson won the award in the 1995–96 season, coaching the Chicago Bulls to 72 wins in a season.
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau won the award in the 2010–11 season.
George Karl led the 2012–13 Denver Nuggets to a 57–25 record without an NBA All-Star.
Gregg Popovich led the 2013–14 San Antonio Spurs to their 5th NBA championship, and earned his 3rd NBA Coach of the Year Award that same season.
^ Denotes head coach who is still active in the NBA
* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach
Bold Team won NBA championship for that season
W–L Win–loss record for that season
Win% Winning percentage for that season
Season Coach Nationality Team W–L Win%
1962–63 Harry Gallatin   United States St. Louis Hawks 48–32 .600
1963–64 Alex Hannum*   United States San Francisco Warriors 48–32 .600
1964–65 Red Auerbach*[a]   United States Boston Celtics 62–18 .775
1965–66 Dolph Schayes   United States Philadelphia 76ers 55–25 .688
1966–67 Johnny Kerr   United States Chicago Bulls 33–48 .407
1967–68 Richie Guerin   United States St. Louis Hawks 56–26 .683
1968–69 Gene Shue   United States Baltimore Bullets 57–25 .695
1969–70 Red Holzman*[a]   United States New York Knicks 60–22 .732
1970–71 Dick Motta   United States Chicago Bulls 51–31 .622
1971–72 Bill Sharman*   United States Los Angeles Lakers 69–13 .841
1972–73 Tom Heinsohn*   United States Boston Celtics 68–14 .829
1973–74 Ray Scott   United States Detroit Pistons 52–30 .634
1974–75 Phil Johnson   United States Kansas City-Omaha Kings 44–38 .537
1975–76 Bill Fitch*[a]   United States Cleveland Cavaliers 49–33 .598
1976–77 Tom Nissalke   United States Houston Rockets 49–33 .598
1977–78 Hubie Brown   United States Atlanta Hawks 41–41 .500
1978–79 Cotton Fitzsimmons   United States Kansas City Kings 48–34 .585
1979–80 Bill Fitch*[a] (2)   United States Boston Celtics 61–21 .744
1980–81 Jack McKinney   United States Indiana Pacers 44–38 .537
1981–82 Gene Shue (2)   United States Washington Bullets 43–39 .524
1982–83 Don Nelson*[a]   United States Milwaukee Bucks 51–31 .622
1983–84 Frank Layden   United States Utah Jazz 45–37 .549
1984–85 Don Nelson*[a] (2)   United States Milwaukee Bucks 59–23 .720
1985–86 Mike Fratello   United States Atlanta Hawks 50–32 .610
1986–87 Mike Schuler   United States Portland Trail Blazers 49–33 .598
1987–88 Doug Moe   United States Denver Nuggets 54–28 .659
1988–89 Cotton Fitzsimmons (2)   United States Phoenix Suns 55–27 .671
1989–90 Pat Riley*[a]   United States Los Angeles Lakers 63–19 .768
1990–91 Don Chaney   United States Houston Rockets 52–30 .634
1991–92 Don Nelson*[a] (3)   United States Golden State Warriors 55–27 .671
1992–93 Pat Riley*[a] (2)   United States New York Knicks 60–22 .732
1993–94 Lenny Wilkens*[a]   United States Atlanta Hawks 57–25 .695
1994–95 Del Harris   United States Los Angeles Lakers 48–34 .585
1995–96 Phil Jackson*[a]   United States Chicago Bulls 72–10 .878
1996–97 Pat Riley*[a] (3)   United States Miami Heat 61–21 .744
1997–98 Larry Bird   United States Indiana Pacers 58–24 .707
1998–99 Mike Dunleavy   United States Portland Trail Blazers 35–15 .700
1999–00 Doc Rivers^   United States Orlando Magic 41–41 .500
2000–01 Larry Brown*   United States Philadelphia 76ers 56–26 .683
2001–02 Rick Carlisle^   United States Detroit Pistons 50–32 .610
2002–03 Gregg Popovich^   United States San Antonio Spurs 60–22 .732
2003–04 Hubie Brown (2)   United States Memphis Grizzlies 50–32 .610
2004–05 Mike D'Antoni^   United States[b] Phoenix Suns 62–20 .756
2005–06 Avery Johnson   United States Dallas Mavericks 60–22 .732
2006–07 Sam Mitchell   United States Toronto Raptors 47–35 .573
2007–08 Byron Scott   United States New Orleans Hornets 56–26 .683
2008–09 Mike Brown   United States Cleveland Cavaliers 66–16 .805
2009–10 Scott Brooks^   United States Oklahoma City Thunder 50–32 .610
2010–11 Tom Thibodeau^   United States Chicago Bulls 62–20 .756
2011–12 Gregg Popovich^ (2)   United States San Antonio Spurs 50–16 .758
2012–13 George Karl   United States Denver Nuggets 57–25 .695
2013–14 Gregg Popovich^ (3)   United States San Antonio Spurs 62–20 .756
2014–15 Mike Budenholzer^   United States Atlanta Hawks 60–22 .732
2015–16 Steve Kerr^   United States Golden State Warriors 73–9 .890
2016–17 Mike D'Antoni^ (2)   United States[b] Houston Rockets 55–27 .670
2017–18 Dwane Casey^   United States Toronto Raptors 59–23 .720
2018–19 Mike Budenholzer^ (2)   United States Milwaukee Bucks 60–22 .732
2019–20 Nick Nurse^   United States Toronto Raptors 46–18[c] .719

Multi-time winnersEdit

Rank Coach Team No. Years
1 Don Nelson Milwaukee Bucks (2) /Golden State Warriors (1) 3 1983, 1985, 1992
Pat Riley Los Angeles Lakers (1) /New York Knicks (1) /Miami Heat (1) 1990, 1993, 1997
Gregg Popovich San Antonio Spurs 2003, 2012, 2014
4 Gene Shue Baltimore Bullets (1) /Washington Bullets (1) 2 1969, 1982
Bill Fitch Cleveland Cavaliers (1) /Boston Celtics (1) 1976, 1980
Hubie Brown Atlanta Hawks (1) /Memphis Grizzlies (1) 1978, 2004
Cotton Fitzsimmons Kansas City Kings (1) /Phoenix Suns (1) 1979, 1989
Mike D'Antoni Phoenix Suns (1) /Houston Rockets (1) 2005, 2017
Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks (1) /Milwaukee Bucks (1) 2015, 2019

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Was selected as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History[6]
  2. ^ a b D'Antoni also holds Italian citizenship.[7]
  3. ^ Record reflects games played before the NBA suspended its 2019–20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the season resumed on July 30, 2020, the NBA announced that voting for that season's awards would be based solely on games played before the season was halted.[2]


  • "Coach of the Year". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on September 15, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2008.
  • "NBA Coach of the Year". Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  1. ^ "Dallas' Avery Johnson Named 2005–06 NBA Coach of the Year". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 28, 2006. Archived from the original on March 21, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Toronto's Nick Nurse wins 2019-20 NBA Coach of the Year award" (Press release). NBA. August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "Heat coach Pat Riley among 2008 Basketball Hall of Fame class". ESPN. April 7, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2008.
  4. ^ "Johnny "Red" Kerr Bio". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Pandian, Ananth (April 26, 2016). "Warriors' Steve Kerr wins the 2016 NBA Coach of the Year award". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Coaches in NBA History". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2008.
  7. ^ "Mike D'Antoni". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2008.