Having undertaken nine different USA Basketball assignments since 2017, former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy has compiled a 15-2 overall record as a USA head coach for a sterling .882 inning percentage.
In 2019, Van Gundy served as the Director of Scouting for the USA World Cup Team and during the team's August training camp, served as head coach of USA Basketball Select Teams during the team's Las Vegas and Los Angeles training camps.
Selected to lead the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying teams, as the USA World Cup Qualifying team head mentor, Van Gundy mentored six USA World Cup Qualifying Team rosters featuring 54 different players to an 10-2 record and first place finish in FIBA Americas, and most importantly, successfully qualifyied the USA for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Opening FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying play facing Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving day 2017, the Americans pulled out an 85-78 win over Puerto Rico. Three days later his squad routed Mexico 91-55 in a home game in Greensboro, N.C.
Returning three months later to lead the USA during the February 2018 window of the World Cup Qualifying, coaching a different roster or players, Van Gundy directed the USA 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 playing a pair of road World Cup Qualifying games while coaching a third different roster of 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.
The Americans opened second-round qualifying play with a home win over Uruguay (114-57) on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas, Nev., and journeyed to Panama City and collected a 78-48 win over Panama.
Van Gundy led the Americans to a 1-1 record during the November/December 2018 World Cup Qualifying window that saw the USA split a pair of road games versus Argentina and Uruguay. The U.S. squad fell to Argentina 80-63 on Nov. 29 and bounced back three days later to claim a 78-70 win over Uruguay.
Closing the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers with a pair of home games in Greensboro, N.C., the USA dominated Panama 111-80, and in a fitting end to the six window, 12-game FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying Tournament, nipped Argentina 84-83 thanks to a Reggie Hearn shot from the corner as time expired.
All told, in the course of the 12 games which covered 27 months, the USA under Van Gundy averaged 86.2 points a game and limited its opponents to just 67.8 points for an average margin of victory of 18.4 points a game. Outrebounding opponents by 8.6 rebounds a game, the U.S. shot 45.8 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from 3-point.
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, the U.S. Virgin Islands and then 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.
For his efforts in leading the USA to the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup title and the first two wins of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Van Gundy was selected the 2017 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year.
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.