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Gentry (center) gestures during a game against the Golden State Warriors in March 2009

Alvin Gentry (born November 5, 1954) is an American professional basketball coach, and college basketball player, who has led four different NBA teams. He served as an interim coach for the Miami Heat at the end of the 1995 season, and later coached the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers. He is currently the head coach for the Phoenix Suns.[1]



He was born in Shelby, North Carolina, where he grew up, and attended Shelby High School. His first cousin is former NC State and NBA star David Thompson.

Gentry played college basketball at Appalachian State University under Press Maravich and Bobby Cremins. In 1978, he spent one year as a graduate assistant at the University of Colorado. He also was an assistant coach at Baylor University under Gene Iba, in 1980. Gentry served as an assistant at the University of Kansas under Larry Brown, where they won the 1988 NCAA National Championship. After one year, Gentry joined the University of Colorado staff.

While in Colorado, Gentry married his first wife Pat Sue DeLuca. They have one daughter, Alexis.[2] Gentry and DeLuca divorced in 1986 after five years of marriage.

In 1989, he began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Larry Brown. It was in San Antonio that Gentry met his future wife, Suzanne Harris. They have two children, Ryan and Jack.[2]

Gentry joined Gregg Popovich, R. C. Buford and Ed Manning as part of Larry Brown's assistant coaching staff for the Spurs when Brown left Kansas before the 1988–1989 NBA season.

After two seasons in San Antonio, Gentry left to become an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers beginning in the 1990–91 season. The next year, Gentry joined Pat Riley's staff as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat. He then moved to Detroit following the 1994-95 season where he served as an assistant for two and a half seasons before being named head coach late in the 1997–98 season.

Gentry briefly returned to San Antonio as head assistant coach following the 1999–2000 season, where he was reunited with former co-assistants Gregg Popovich (the Spurs head coach and vice president of basketball operations) and R.C. Buford (the Spurs General Manager). But the stint was short, with Gentry accepting the head coaching position of the Los Angeles Clippers weeks after taking the San Antonio job.

Gentry later became an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns for six years, serving under head coaches Mike D'Antoni and Terry Porter. When Porter was fired in his first season as head coach after a disappointing year, Alvin Gentry took over on an interim basis. He was named Suns' head coach for the 2009-2010 season. As of November 29th, 2009 Gentry's record as head coach has been a commendable 32 wins and 16 losses.


Coaching record

Regular season   G Games coached   W Games won   L Games lost
Post season  PG  Games coached  PW  Games won  PL  Games lost
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL Result
MIA 1995 36 15 21 .417 4th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
DET 1998 37 16 21 .432 6th in Central Missed Playoffs
DET 1999 50 29 21 .580 3rd in Central 5 2 3 Lost in 1st Round
DET 1999-00 58 28 30 .483
LAC 2000-01 82 31 51 .378 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
LAC 2001-02 82 39 43 .476 5th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
LAC 2002-03 58 19 39 .328
PHX 2009 31 18 13 .581 2nd in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Career 434 195 239 .449 5 2 3


External links

Preceded by
Kevin Loughery
Miami Heat Head Coach
Succeeded by
Pat Riley
Preceded by
Doug Collins
Detroit Pistons head coach
Succeeded by
George Irvine
Preceded by
Jim Todd
Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach
Succeeded by
Dennis Johnson
Preceded by
Terry Porter
Phoenix Suns Head Coach
Succeeded by


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