Stan Van Gundy is a renowned American basketball coach, who has served as the head coach for Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic. Beginning his career as an assistant coach, he went on to become a very successful coach in NBA history. He took Miami Heat to the ‘Eastern Conference finals. He achieved even more success with the Orlando Magic team when he took them to the NBA Finals. His final stint in NBA with the Detroit Pistons was less successful. The team ended up missing the playoffs and a first-round loss. Additionally, Stan Van Gundy is considered to be one of the best college basketball coaches of all time. This is largely due to his success with teams like the Castleton Spartans, UMass Lowell River Hawks, and the Wisconsin Badgers. Apart from coaching, Gundy has also appeared on TV. He has been an NBA analyst on shows like ‘SportsCenter’, ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’, and ‘NBA on ESPN’, etc. He was a co-host of the ‘The Dan Le Batard Show’ and was featured in the documentary ‘60 Minutes Sports’.
Childhood & Early Life
Stan Van Gundy was born on August 26, 1959, in Indio, California, USA. His father, Bill Van Gundy is the former head basketball coach of the ‘State University of New York at Brockport’. His mother is Cindy Van Gundy. His younger brother is former ‘New York Knicks’ and ‘Houston Rockets’ coach, Jeff Van Gundy.
Stan attended the ‘Alhambra High School’ in Martinez, California. He was a starting guard for the school team.
Stan also played for the SUNY – Brockport team, while his father was a coach there. He later graduated in 1981, with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a BSc. in Physical Education.
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Stan Van Gundy started as an assistant coach for the University of Vermont (1981–1983). He went on to become the head coach at ‘Castleton State College’ from 1983 to 1986.
He earned the ‘District 5 Coach of the Year’ honor from ‘NAIA’ in 1983. He then took the ‘Castleton Spartans’ to the top in the 1984–1985 NAIA’s Mayflower Conference. They also won the 1985 NAIA District 5 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
In 1987, Van Gundy served as an assistant coach at the Canisius College. The next year, he held the same position at the Fordham University (1988). He then became the head coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (1988–1992). He led the UMass Lowell River Hawks to a 54-60 record during his tenure.
From 1992 until 1994, Stan served as the assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. In 1994, he was promoted to the head coach position for the Wisconsin Badgers and given a five-year contract. However, a disappointing first season led to him being fired in 1995.
In 1995, Stan Van Gundy landed the position of assistant coach for the NBA franchise Miami Heat. He held the position for eight years until head coach, Pat Riley, left in 2003, to become the president of the team.
As the head coach for the Miami Heat, Stan Van Gundy led them to a 42 match winning record in the 2003–2004 season. He also coached the team to the semi-finals of the 2004 NBA playoffs.
In the 2004–2005 season, Miami Heat, under Stan, won 82 games. They were also semi-finalists in the 2005 NBA playoffs. However, the success also made Van Gundy a target for Pat Riley, who wanted to take the position of head coach again. On December 12, 2005, Stan resigned from his position as head coach of the Miami Heat.
In June 2007, Stan Van Gundy replaced Billy Donovan as the head coach for Orlando Magic. His first season with them was immensely successful with 52 wins. The team won their first division championship in over a decade and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals (2008).
In his second season (2008–2009), Gundy led the Orlando Magic to 59 wins and Orlando Magic also advanced to the NBA Finals.
In 2010, Stan Van Gundy was named coach Eastern Conference All-Star team for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game and he led Eastern Conference to victory.
On May 21, 2012, he was fired from the position of head coach of the Orlando Magic due to conflict with Dwight Howard.
Stan Van Gundy was named head coach and the president of basketball operations for ‘Detroit Pistons’ on May 14, 2014. However, under his tenure, the team missed the playoffs for three seasons. They only managed to reach the first round in the ‘2015 – 2016’ season. He was relieved of his duties on May 7, 2018.
Stan has also appeared on TV many times. He served as an NBA Analyst in ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’, ‘SportsCenter’, ‘ESPN First Take’, in 2018. and ‘NBA on ESPN’ (2019), etc.
Family & Personal Life
Stan Van Gundy has been happily married to Kimberly Van Gundy since 1988. The couple has four children, son Michael (born 1994) and daughters, Shannon (born 1991), Alison (born 1997), and Kelly (born 1999).