NBA coaches often compete in a cut-throat world. The pressure to win can be enormous, especially when it could be the difference between keeping your job and losing it. In the 2016 offseason, 10 teams brought in new head coaches, which means that one-third of the league was managed by new hires. But this year, every NBA team has kept with their H/C in hopes of winning the ultimate award, the NBA championship trophy. With all this talk of management, lets review the top-ten longest-tenured active coaches.

1. Gregg Popovich- San Antonio Spurs

Tenure: December 1996-present

Years of coaching with team: 21

Number of championships won: 5

More notable achievements: 4x NBA All-Star Game head coach, 3x Coach of the Year award winner, Red Auerbach Trophy winner

Meet the coach: Gregg Charles Popovich was born in 1949 in East Chicago, Ind. Popovich is clearly a legend in the basketball community, but he came from humble beginnings. From playing Biddy Basketball in East Chicago to winning five NBA championships, Popovich seems to have done it all, but what many people don’t know is that Popovich served in the Armed Forces for five years. He played four seasons for the United States Air Force Academy in which he became a team captain and a leading scorer. Popovich went on to coach the academy’s basketball team as an assistant, which led him to coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

2. Erik Spoelstra-Miami Heat

Tenure: April 2008-present

Years of coaching with team: 9

Number of championships won: 2 (Head coach) 1 (Assistant coach)

More notable achievements: 1x NBA All-Star Game head coach

Meet the coach: Born in Evanston, Illi., to Jon Spoelstra and Elisa Celino, Spoelstra was surrounded by basketball at an early age. Spoelstra’s father was a former NBA executive of the Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, and New Jersey Nets. Spoelstra played for the University of Portland where he was named Western Conference freshman of the year. He went on to be the Pilot’s starting point guard for four years. Spoelstra coached under Pat Riley at the Miami Heat when they won the NBA championship in 2006 and was later promoted by Riley to be the Head coach in 2008.

 

3. Rick Carlisle-Mavericks-May 2008-present

Year of coaching with team: 9

Number of championship won: 1

More notable achievements: 1x NBA Coach of the Year award winner, 1x NBA All-Star Game Head coach

Meet the coach: Richard Preston “Rick” Carlisle was born in Ogdensburg, N.Y., in 1959. He played college basketball for both the University of Maine and the University of Virginia and then was selected 70th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1984 NBA Draft. Carlisle played for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and New Jersey Nets during his NBA days, winning a championship with the Boston Celtics in 1986. He has coached for six NBA teams including the Mavericks since 1989. Carlisle also holds a record of being one of only eleven people to win a championship as a player and as a coach.

4. Dwane Casey- Toronto Raptors

Tenure: June 2011-present

Years of coaching with team: 6

Number of championships won: 0

More notable achievements: NBA champion (2011, assistant coach)

Meet the coach: Dwane Casey was born in Indianapolis, Ind,. in 1957. He played his college career at University of Kentucky and went undrafted in the 1974 NBA Draft. His resume is impressive, from being an NCAA and NIT champion to winning an NBA championship as an assistant coach in 2011. He has coached for numerous NBA and international teams, including the Seattle Supersonics and the Japanese National Basketball Team.

5. Terry Stotts- Portland Trail Blazers

Tenure: August 2012-present

Year of coaching with team: 5

Number of championships won: 0

More notable achievements: NBA champion (2011, assistant coach)

Meet the coach: Terry Linn Stotts was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1957. Ha played college basketball for University of Oklahoma and declared for the 1980 NBA Draft in which he was selected 38th overall by the Houston Rockets. After playing multiple years of overseas basketball, Stotts returned to the NBA to coach many teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks.

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