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Spurs' Popovich named NBA coach of the year; Jazz's Corbin finishes seventh

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

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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

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