Spurs' Popovich named NBA coach of the year; Jazz's Corbin finishes seventh
Published: July 1, 2012 12:01PM
Updated: May 1, 2012 01:49PM

San Antonio — The Spurs' Gregg Popovich was named Tuesday as 2011-12 NBA coach of the year.

It's the second time Popovich has received the honor, which he was first awarded during the 2002-03 season.

The four-time NBA champion received 467 points this year, including 77 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sports writers and broadcasters.

Popovich said the Spurs did less with more during a lockout-shortened season. He credited San Antonio owner Peter Holt and general manager R.C. Buford with annually giving him strong pieces to work with.

"I am the beneficiary," Popovich said. "I am the guy that's going to get the award. It's really not mine. It belongs to everybody."

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin finished seventh, earning one second-place vote and six third-place votes.

Popovich led the Spurs to a 50-16 record this season. The mark tied Chicago for the best overall record in the NBA and earned San Antonio the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Spurs hold a 1-0 series lead against Utah in a first-round matchup.

Game 2 is 5 p.m. MT Wednesday in San Antonio.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz

Press release:

NEW YORK – San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.

Popovich, who also earned the honor in 2002-03, totaled 467 points, including 77 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

In his 16th season as head coach of the Spurs, Popovich guided San Antonio to a league-tying-best 50-16 (.758) record. With Popovich at the helm, the Spurs ranked second in the league in scoring (103.7 ppg) and point-differential (+7.2). In the second half of the season, however, the Spurs were the league’s most dominant team, posting an NBA-best 26-6 (.813) record while averaging league highs in scoring (108.3 ppg) and point-differential (+10.8). In the process, Popovich guided the Spurs to their 15th consecutive postseason berth, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.

The Spurs finished the season winning 10 straight games, 24 of their last 27 and 38 of their last 45. San Antonio won at least 50 games for the 13th consecutive season – all under Popovich’s tenure – surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers (1979-80 to 1990-91) for the longest streak in NBA history. The Spurs also set a franchise mark with three double-digit winning streaks.

Popovich was named the Coach of the Month in February and March, giving him 14 Coach of the Month awards in his career, the most in league annals. His back-to-back wins marked the second time Popovich earned consecutive coaching honors (November and December, 2010).

The longest tenured coach with the same team in all four major professional sports, Popovich holds the best winning percentage of the longest tenured coaches in the other three major professional sports (.679). In addition, his 847 victories with the Spurs ranks second all-time in NBA history for most wins with one team (Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz, 1,127)

Popovich also supports the NBA Coaches for Kids program, a league initiative in partnership with the NBA Coaches Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched during the 2008-09 NBA season. To date, the program has provided more than 155,000 Boys & Girls Club members with the chance to attend NBA games. Youth participants also have the opportunity to meet with NBA coaches, general managers and athletic trainers and learn the fundamentals of the game, the values of sportsmanship and teamwork, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Following are the balloting results for the 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year award and the all-time list of winners:


Coach, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio 77 24 10 467
Tom Thibodeau, Chicago 27 53 21 315
Frank Vogel, Indiana 7 27 45 161
Lionel Hollins, Memphis 6 3 11 50
Doc Rivers, Boston 1 4 9 26
Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City 0 2 3 9
Tyrone Corbin, Utah 0 1 6 9
George Karl, Denver 1 0 2 7
Mike Brown, L.A. Lakers 0 1 1 4
Stan Van Gundy, Orlando 0 1 1 4
Larry Drew, Atlanta 0 0 3 3
Monty Williams, New Orleans 0 1 0 3
Vinny Del Negro, L.A. Clippers 0 0 2 2
Kevin McHale, Houston 0 0 2 2
Alvin Gentry, Phoenix 0 0 1 1


1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis
1963-64 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco
1964-65 - Red Auerbach, Boston
1965-66 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia
1966-67 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago
1967-68 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis
1968-69 - Gene Shue, Baltimore
1969-70 - Red Holzman, New York
1970-71 - Dick Motta, Chicago
1971-72 - Bill Sharman, Los Angeles
1972-73 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston
1973-74 - Ray Scott, Detroit
1974-75 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha
1975-76 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland
1976-77 - Tom Nissalke, Houston
1977-78 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta
1978-79 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City
1979-80 - Bill Fitch, Boston
1980-81 - Jack McKinney, Indiana
1981-82 - Gene Shue, Washington
1982-83 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
1983-84 - Frank Layden, Utah
1984-85 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
1985-86 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta
1986-87 - Mike Schuler, Portland
1987-88 - Doug Moe, Denver
1988-89 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix
1989-90 - Pat Riley, LA Lakers
1990-91 - Don Chaney, Houston
1991-92 - Don Nelson, Golden State
1992-93 - Pat Riley, New York
1993-94 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta
1994-95 - Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers
1995-96 - Phil Jackson, Chicago
1996-97 - Pat Riley, Miami
1997-98 - Larry Bird, Indiana
1998-99 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland
1999-00 - Doc Rivers, Orlando
2000-01 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia
2001-02 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit
2002-03 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
2003-04 - Hubie Brown, Memphis
2004-05 - Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix
2005-06 - Avery Johnson, Dallas
2006-07 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto
2007-08 - Byron Scott, New Orleans
2008-09 - Mike Brown, Cleveland
2009-10 – Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City
2010-11 – Tom Thibodeau, Chicago
2011-12 – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio