Which Teams has Gregg Popovich Coached?

Last Modified Sep 20, 2023 09:02 GMT
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich


Gregg Popovich is an American professional basketball coach, who has been the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA since 1996. He is the longest-tenured active coach in the NBA as well as the other major leagues in the United States. Popovich was born to a Serbian father and a Croatian mother in 1949. Spending most of his childhood in East Chicago, Indiana, Popovich graduated from Merrillville High School in 1966.


Popovich then attended the United States Air Force Academy where he played in the Air Force Falcons men’s basketball team. He was their captain and leading scorer during his senior year. After this, Popovich served five years of required service in the United States Air Force, where he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as a member of the college basketball team.


In 1973, he became the assistant coach of the Air Force team. While serving as an assistant coach, Popovich earned a master’s degree in physical education and sports sciences from the University of Denver. In 1979, he was named the head coach of the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, the basketball team of Pomona College, where he served till 1988.


Gregg Popovich Teams Coached

Gregg Popovich became an assistant coach under long-time friend Larry Brown for the San Antonio Spurs. In 1992, when the entire staff including manager R.C Buford was fired by the owner, Popovich took a brief stint with the Golden State Warriors, where he was an assistant coach under legendary coach Don Nelson. In 1994, he was called back by the Spurs as the General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations after the team was bought by a new owner. Popovich also took it upon himself to step in and coach the team.


Thus began one of the most legendary careers of one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. As one of his earliest moves, he traded Dennis Rodman to the Chicago Bulls. The two had a long-standing beef and weren’t particularly fond of each other. After the Spurs began the 1996-97 season 3-15 with David Robinson battling foot injuries and being sidelined for most of the season, the Spurs finished the season with a 20-62 record, the worst in the league.


This, however, came with a silver lining as the Spurs won the draft lottery to earn the number one overall pick, with which they selected franchise legend, Tim Duncan. With Duncan and Robinson, Popovich constructed a modern version of twin-tower offense, surrounding the two big men with ample perimeter play. After winning 56 games in the 1998 season, the Spurs won their first championship in 1999, defeating the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals.


Since then, the Spurs have been the gold standard for NBA teams and consistency. Irrespective of what roster Popovich had around his big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, he always found a way to bring his team to the playoffs. The Spurs hold the record for the most consecutive years of making the playoffs with 22. Along the way, the Spurs won four more championships, in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. The only time the Spurs made the Finals and didn’t win the NBA championship was in 2013 when they lost to the Miami Heat in seven games.


Popovich has also been the recipient of the Coach of the Year award thrice, in 2003, 2012, and 2014. In 2015, he became the ninth head coach to win 1000 games. In 2017, he coached his 1128th regular season game with the Spurs, the most by a single head coach with one franchise.


Popovich’s current deal runs through the 2027-28 season and is worth over $80 million, making him one of the highest paid coaches in the league. Popovich has also coached Team USA, leading them to the gold medals in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. He was also part of Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The USA, however, finished seventh in that tournament, their worst finish ever. Popovich is set to resume as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs in the upcoming season.

FAQs

A. Gregg Popovich is currently the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs.

A. Gregg Popovich has won the Coach of the Year award thrice in his career — in 2003, 2012 and 2014.

A. Gregg Popovich is currently 74 years of age.

A. Besides being the head coach, Gregg Popovich is also the Head of Basketball Operations and Vice President of the Spurs.

A. Gregg Popovich has five rings as a coach. 

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