Top 5 Spurs Coaches

5. Doug Moe (1976-1980, 177-135, .567) – During the late 70’s, the Spurs were a runnin’ and gunnin’ team led by George Gervin, Larry Kenon and James Silas. Moe was at the helm of these teams, helping them consistently rank among the league leaders in pace and scoring. His best season record-wise came in 1977-78 when the Spurs went 52-30 but lost to the Washington Bullets in the Eastern Conference Semifinals (the Spurs were in the East then and the playoffs were only 4 teams per conference). However, his best year came the next season when the Spurs went 48-34 but lost to the Bullets in game 7 of the Conference Finals. Making things worse, the Spurs led the series 3-1 before letting the Bullets back in. Moe was fired in 1980 after starting 33-33.

4. Larry Brown (1988-1992, 153-131, .539) –Brown’s first season with the Spurs was not successful in any regards, resulting in a 21-61 record. His next season, however, coincided with David Robinson’s rookie season and the Spurs went 56-26 and won the Midwest Division. Two seasons later, Brown was canned after starting the season 21-17. He once told the USA Today that he was not sure why he went to San Antonio, adding that relationships with members of the organization influenced his move. Even though he struggled in his first season, his impact is felt in the organization since Pop was an assistant with Brown.

3. Stan Albeck (1981-1983,153-93, .622) – Albeck took over the Spurs the season after Moe left and continued the Spurs running style. Gervin was still lighting up the scoreboard and the Spurs were still perennially winning over 50 games. His best season came in 1982-1983 when the Spurs went 53-29. The Spurs were now in the Western Conference and faced Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals. Recently Jeff named game 6 of that series the fifth worst playoff moment in Spurs history. The Spurs managed to win twice on the road but lost every home game, losing the series 4-2.

2. Bob Hill (1994-1996, 124-58, .681) – Hill only coached the Spurs for just over two seasons but he helped lead them to two of their more successful seasons. In 1994-1995, Hill led the Spurs to a 62-20 record, which was the best in the league and a franchise record. It seemed like the Spurs were poised to win a championship with MVP David Robinson leading the way. As we all know, they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and Houston Rockets in the Conference Finals. This is most people’s complaint about Hill. The Spurs were great in the regular season but underperformed during the playoffs. Hill was fired in 1996-1997 after starting 3-15 with seemingly the whole team injured. Popovich appointed himself as the coach and did a little better (17-47).

1. Gregg Popovich (1997-Present, 686-330, .675) – No coach has been with the Spurs longer and for good reason. After a rough first year, Popovich drafted Tim Duncan and the rest is history. Perhaps no coach controls his team’s demeanor quite like Pop, who influenced the team from his position of General Manager, which he relinquished in 2002. Even though he no longer holds the position, no personnel decision is being made without his okay. Yes, Pop has his faults at time. He can be stubborn with his rotation and falls in love with veterans (Michael Finley, Jacque Vaughn), but he has created a basketball system that is the envy of the league. His teams always play great defense, are efficient, and play hard. He has joked in the past when asked about how long he will coach that he will retire when Duncan retires. While I would understand this decision, I hope he does not because he is the best coach the Spurs have ever had.

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