Basketball Coaches

Great Basketball Coaches have been few and far between. The coaching greats like Wooden, Riley and Dean Smith were all able to guide their players and bring out the best in each of them each night.


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Pat Riley

With seven NBA championship rings Pat Riley is perhaps the greatest coach in NBA history. He led the Lakers through a terrific run and brought back the Miami Heat. Read about Pat Riley and his career as a coach and a guard.

Adolph Rupp

When Adolph Rupp left the Univ. of Kentucky he had won more games than any other coach in history. During his career he became a legend and influenced countless other coaches and players. Read about Adolph Rupp and his career highlights.

James Naismith

James Naismith invented the sport of basketball in 1891 and was also a coach. He introduced basketball at Kansas and coached the varsity team but he offered little to coaching theory. Read more about James Naismith and the origin of basketball.

Bob Knight

Famous for his fiery temper and antics on the sidelines, Bob Knight is the youngest college coach ever to win 300 games. He broke the all-time record for games won on January 1, 2007. Read more about bombastic Bobby Knight and his many victories.

Lenny Wilkens

Lenny Wilkens was one of the best point guards of his generation and the first NBA coach to win 1,000 games. He was the epitome of class and dignity and is very difficult to find someone to say something bad about him.

John Wooden

John Wooden was inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach who won 10 NCAA championships. He organized the UCLA dynasty in the 1960s and coached many players into the NBA.

John Havlicek

John Havlicek played 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics, scored 26,395 points and made first-team All-NBA four times. He was the first professional player to score 1000 or more points in 16 consecutive seasons.

Red Grange

Red Grange was one of the superstar athletes who propelled football into mass-popularity. He was famous for incredible speed that allowed him to break away from defenders for large gains. Read about his career during the Golden Age of Sports.

Red Auerbach

Red Auerbach led the Boston Celtics for 16 seasons and presided over nine championship games. While coaching, Auerbach stressed physical conditioning, team defense and fast breaking offense. Read about Auerbach's amazing career.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith won 879 games as basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. A protege of legend Phog Allen Smith, he led an illustrious coaching career. Learn more about Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith.