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Jeff Van Gundy

Jeff Van Gundy (right) was the coach for the Rockets from 2003 to 2007.
Born January 19, 1962 (1962-01-19) (age 47)
Hemet, California

Jeff Van Gundy (born January 19, 1962 in Hemet, California) is a former American basketball head coach. He coached most recently with the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets. Van Gundy attended Yale University, where he was cut from the basketball team. He transferred to Menlo College and ultimately graduated from New York's Nazareth College (1985).

Van Gundy grew up as a son of a basketball coach, Bill Van Gundy, the former head coach at Brockport State University in Western New York. His brother Stan Van Gundy is the current head coach of the NBA's Orlando Magic.



Jeff Van Gundy began his basketball coaching career during the 1985-86 season at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York. The following year he became a graduate assistant under Rick Pitino at Providence College, helping the Providence Friars advance to the Final Four. In his second season with the Friars he was promoted to assistant coach under Gordon Chiesa. The next season, Van Gundy became an assistant coach under Bob Wenzel at Rutgers.

On July 28, 1989, Jeff Van Gundy became assistant coach for the New York Knicks. The next six-and-a-half seasons were spent providing support to Knicks coaches Stu Jackson (1989-1990), John MacLeod (1990-1991), Pat Riley (1991-1995) and Don Nelson (1995-1996). During his tenure as an assistant coach the Knicks won three Atlantic Division titles, never finished lower than third in the division, and qualified for the playoffs in every year. The Knicks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1993 and the NBA Finals versus the Houston Rockets in 1994.[1]

Van Gundy was the head coach of the New York Knicks from March 8, 1996 until his resignation on December 8, 2001. He led the team to the playoffs six times, including their Cinderella run to the 1999 NBA Finals. At the time of his resignation the Knicks had a winning record; under his successor Don Chaney the team collapsed, losing 43 of their remaining 63 games, and failed to make the playoffs.

Van Gundy was hired as head coach of the Houston Rockets in 2003. On May 18, 2007, Van Gundy was fired from that position after the team's seven-game, first-round playoff loss to the Utah Jazz. Later that night, Van Gundy was a guest analyst for ESPN's broadcast of the Phoenix Suns-San Antonio Spurs game in San Antonio, Texas and has since helped cover the playoffs for ESPN in the broadcast booth.[2]

On May 12, 2009, on ESPN writer Bill Simmons' podcast, Van Gundy expressed his desire to eventually return to coaching, stating he would consider being an assistant coach.

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
NYK 1995–96 23 13 10 .565 2nd in Atlantic Division 4 4 .500 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
NYK 1996–97 82 57 25 .695 2nd in Atlantic Division 6 4 .600 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
NYK 1997–98 82 43 39 .524 2nd in Atlantic Division 4 6 .400 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
NYK 1998–99 50 27 23 .540 4th in Atlantic Division 12 8 .600 Lost in NBA Finals
NYK 1999–00 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Atlantic Division 9 7 .563 Lost in Conf. Finals
NYK 2000–01 82 48 34 .585 3rd in Atlantic Division 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
NYK 2001–02 19 10 9 .526 (resigned)
HOU 2003–04 82 45 37 .540 5th in Midwest Division 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
HOU 2004–05 82 51 31 .610 3rd in Southwest Division 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
HOU 2005–06 82 34 48 .415 5th in Southwest Division Missed Playoffs
HOU 2006–07 82 52 30 .634 3rd in Southwest Division 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
Career 748 430 318 .575 44 44 .500

Other information

"JVG", as he is called in Internet fandom, created a memorable scene in the 1998 NBA Playoffs series between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. When the Heat's 6'10", 240-pound center Alonzo Mourning[3] and the Knicks' 6'6", 250-pound forward Larry Johnson[4] engaged in a violent, bench-clearing brawl, Van Gundy tried unsuccessfully to break up the fight. Most memorably, the 5'9", 150-pound Van Gundy[5] fell to the floor and clung to Mourning's leg.[6]

In a 2001 game, San Antonio Spur Danny Ferry elbowed New York Knick Marcus Camby. While talking to the referee, Camby lost control and tried to punch Ferry. He missed and hit Coach Van Gundy instead.[7]

In May 2005, Van Gundy was fined $100,000 by the NBA for accusing referees of targeting Houston Rockets center Yao Ming. Van Gundy blamed Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for causing the referees' alleged bias. This is the largest fine handed down to a coach in NBA history.[8]


External links

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