Grabbing Some (Clip) Boards

Monday, September 26, 2011
By Jon Newberry

Do former players make the best coaches? Take one quick glance at the record books and you will find plenty of evidence to support an arguement that they do.

All seven coaches with over 1,000 career victories in the NBA (Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Larry Brown and George Karl) enjoyed successful professional careers as players. Likewise, the top-four college coaches (Bobby Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp) all played in college, with three of the four winning national championships as players.

In many ways, the accomplishments as players help bring an air of credibility as a coach. Former Hawk Tony Delk has worked the past two seasons at the University of Kentucky, and was hired by New Mexico State earlier this summer as an assistant. He believes his pro career and his NCAA national championship ring help him as a mentor to college players.

“You can’t kid me,” Delk commented in an interview with “I know what it takes to get to the next level. If a guy is not working hard and just thinks he’s going to walk in and all of a sudden make the NBA, I can tell him it will not be that easy.”

Another former Hawk, Stacey Augmon, was recently hired at his alma mater, UNLV, and he echo’s the same sentiments. He knows that at this point in his coaching career, being a good recruiter is one of the most important things he can bring to the table.

“That’s going to be my sales pitch,” Augmon told the Las Vegas Sun. “I can work you out, I can show you what it takes, I can tell you which direction to go, because I’ve been through it. I’ll know how to get you to the next level.”

With all the success that former players have had when they trade in their sneakers for dress shoes and a clipboard, it shouldn’t be surprising that schools and professional teams consistently turn to former players when they have a coaching vacancy. The Atlanta Hawks alumni are extremely active in the coaching ranks, with the most recent hire of Eldridge Recasner as an assistant for the NBDL’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The following is a list of former Hawks that are currently coaching:

Duane Ferrell – Atlanta Hawks Player Relations Manager
Doc Rivers – Boston Celtics Head Coach
Armond Hill – Boston Celtics Assistant (Former Hawks’ Assistant in 2003-04)
Tyronn Lue – Boston Celtics Assistant Coach
Paul Silas – Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach
Johnny Davis – Memphis Grizzlies Assistant Coach
Sidney Moncrief – Milwaukee Bucks Assistant Coach
Fred Vinson – New Orleans Hornets Assistant Coach
Maurice Cheeks – Oklahoma City Thunder Assistant Coach
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Classic Profile) – Sacramento Kings Asst. General Manager
Tyrone Corbin – Utah Jazz Assistant Coach
Randy Wittman – Washington Wizards Assistant Coach

Butch Beard – Former New Jersey Nets Head Coach
Reggie Theus – Former Minnesota Timberwolves Assistant Coach

Craig Ehlo – Eastern Washington Assistant Coach
Danny Manning – Kansas Assistant Coach
Stacey Augmon (Classic Profile) – UNLV Assistant Coach
Ira Bowman – NJIT Assistant Coach
Tony Delk – New Mexico State Assistant Coach
Donald Whiteside – Northern Illinois Assistant Coach
Steve Henson – Oklahoma Assistant Coach.
Greg Foster – UTEP Assistant Coach

Walt Hazzard – Former UCLA Head Coach
Sidney Lowe – Former North Carolina State Head Coach
Joe Meriweather – Head women’s coach at Park University for 13 years until 2010

Butch Lee – Coaches in Puerto Rico (Cangrejeros de Santurce in 2009)
Chucky Brown – LA D-fenders (NBDL) Head Coach
Darvin Ham – Albuquerque Thunderbirds (NBDL) Assistant Coach
Goose Givens – CEO and President of Orlando Comets (AAU)
Haywoode Workman – NBA Referee
Michael Bradley – Summit Country Day School Varsity Head Coach (Cincinnati)
Mike Glenn – All-Star Basketball Camp for the Hearing-Impaired
Ollie Johnson – Director of Athletics at the Community College of Philadelphia
ReShown McLeod – Former St. Benedicts Prep Head Coach & Indiana Univ. Assistant
Rodney Monroe – AD and Basketball Coach at Lake Norman Christian School
Tree Rollins – Former Mystics (WNBA) Head Coach