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Jeff Van Gundy

Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy was announced on July 5, 2017, as the head coach of the USA Basketball men’s national teams that competed in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 (formerly known as the FIBA Americas Championship) and the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games’ first four windows between November 2017 and September 2018.

"I'm absolutely honored and humbled to be able to represent my country and USA Basketball in this summer's AmeriCup and the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers," said Van Gundy. "I have a lot to learn about FIBA basketball and our competition and I can't wait to get started. I want to thank Jerry Colangelo, Gregg Popovich and ESPN for allowing me this opportunity."

In his first USA Basketball coaching assignment, Van Gundy led the USA to a 5-0 record and gold medal finish at the FIBA AmeriCup 2017, the FIBA Americas zone championship. In claiming the title, Van Gundy directed a USA squad comprised primarily of NBA G League players to victories over Panama, Uruguay on its home court, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Argentina on its home court. Averaging 82.8 points a game, and limiting opponents to 63.2 points a game, the average margin of victory for the American team was 19.6 points per game.

Also selected to lead the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying teams, as the USA head mentor he has paced the Americans to a 7-1 overall record, including a 5-1 record in first-round play as the USA captured first in Group C.

Opening FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying play facing Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving day, the Americans pulled out an 85-78 win over Puerto Rico in Orlando, Fla. Three days later his squad routed Mexico 91-55 in Greensboro, N.C.

Returning three months later to lead the USA during the February window of the World Cup Qualifying, coaching a different roster or players, Van Gundy directed the USA in Santa Cruz, Calif., to a win over Cuba (84-48) and to a second win over Puerto Rico (83-75).

Faced in the third first-round window with the task of played a pair of road World Cup Qualifying games while coaching a third different roster or World Cup Qualifying players, the USA went 1-1 and saw its five-game win streak end after falling 78-70 to Mexico in Mexico City.  The Americas, however, regrouped and took a decisive 93-62 victory over Cuba in Havana to close out first-round play on a positive note. 

With a roster featuring just two players with prior World Cup Qualifying game experience, the USA opened second round action with a 114-57 victory over Uruguay in Las Vegas on Sept. 14. Hitting the road, the USA squad defeated Panama 78-48 on Sept. 17 in Panama City to improve to 7-1.

Van Gundy boasts of 18 seasons of NBA coaching experience, including 11 seasons as a head coach and seven seasons as an assistant. All tallied, as a head coach he compiled an overall record of 430-318 (.575), and led teams to the NBA playoffs in nine of his 10 full seasons and posted a 44-44 all-time playoff record.

Van Gundy was named head coach of the New York Knicks on March 8, 1996, and while in that capacity for seven seasons (1995-96 – 2001-02), he compiled a 248-172 record and led Knick teams to six NBA playoff appearances.

 

In 1996-97, his first full season as head coach, he directed the Knicks to a 57-25 record, which ranked tied for the third-best record in franchise history. In the lockout–shortened 1998–99 season, battling through numerous injuries, New York finished 27–23 and earned the eighth seed for the playoffs. Van Gundy’s Knicks went on to defeat Miami, Atlanta and Indiana in the playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals where they lost to San Antonio. In advancing to the 1999 NBA Finals the Knicks became the first 8th-seeded team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals. Nine games into the 2001–02 season, Van Gundy resigned as New York’s head coach.

On June 10, 2003, Van Gundy returned to the NBA and was named head coach of the Houston Rockets. In his four years (2003-04 – 2006-07) as the Rockets’ head mentor he compiled a record of 182-146 and advanced Houston to three NBA playoffs.

In his first season in Houston, the Rockets finished the 2003-04 season with a 45–37 record and made the NBA Playoffs for the first time in five years. In his second season, Houston compiled a record of 51-31 and again advanced to the playoffs. The 51 wins marked Houston’s first season with more than 50 wins in eight years. Two years later he again led Houston to the playoffs and a 52-30 record.

Van Gundy also spent six and a half seasons (1989-90 through 1995-96) as a New York Knicks assistant, and during that span, the Knicks won three Atlantic Division titles, never finished lower than third in the division and qualified for the playoffs every year.

He served as a graduate assistant under Rick Pitino at Providence College, helping the Providence Friars advance to the 1987 NCAA Final Four. In his second season with the Friars he was promoted to assistant coach as part of Gordon Chiesa’s staff. Van Gundy also spent one season (1988-89) as an assistant coach at Rutgers University.

Van Gundy joined ESPN in 2007 as an NBA analyst and has called 12 NBA Finals, the most Finals ever for a TV game analyst.

His father, Bill Van Gundy, was a head coach at Brockport State University and at Genesee    Community College. Jeff's older brother, Stan, later became head coach of the NBA's Miami Heat and Orlando Magic and was head coach and Director of   Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2014-18.

As a high school player, he was a two-time All Greater Rochester selection in 1979 and 1980,  leading Brockport  Central to the Class AA finals. He continued his career at Nazareth College where he earned  All American honors while leading the Golden Flyers to an NCAA Division II Tournament berth in 1984. He remains the Nazareth career leader in free throw percentage at 86.8 percent. Van Gundy attended Yale University before transferring to Menlo College and ultimately graduated from New York's Nazareth College in 1985. In 2011, Van Gundy received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Nazareth College.

 

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