The file on Stan Van Gundy
Stan Van Gundy was born in Indio, California. At a young age his family moved to the bay area where attending Alhambra High School in Martinez, California. Van Gundy played guard for Alhambra prior to attending the State University of New York at Brockport to play for his father, Bill.
Intro to coaching
Upon graduating, Van Gundy began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Vermont. After three seasons he accepted his first head coaching job at Castleton State College. Van Gundy spent four seasons at the helm of Castleton before transferring to Division 1, coaching at Canisius. He spent a season at Canisius (1987) and a season at Fordham (1988) before being named head coach of Division II University of Massachusetts Lowell. In four seasons, Van Gundy amassed a 54-60 record.
Division 1 head coach
Van Gundy became the top assistant to University of Wisconsin basketball coach Stu Jackson from 1992-94. Jackson left Wisconsin to become the general manager of the Vancouver Grizzlies, leaving the Wisconsin job void. Van Gundy was promoted to replace Jackson as head coach. With expectations high in Madison, Van Gundy disappointed with a 13-14 record and was fired.
The SUNY-Brockport alum was hired as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat by Pat Riley in 1995. The Heat made the playoffs in Van Gundy's first six seasons, making it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals in 1997. Prior to the 2003-04 season, Heat head coach Pat Riley resigned and named Van Gundy the team's head coach.
Miami Heat years
Van Gundy spent two plus seasons as head coach in Miami, compiling a 112-73 regular season record and a postseason mark of 17-11. He won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month four times in his Heat career. 2005 was an illustrious year for Van Gundy. He was the head coach of the NBA All-Star Game and led the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing in Game 7 against the Detroit Pistons. His .605 regular season and .607 playoff winning percentages were tops in franchise history prior to his resignation in Dec. 2005.
Moving to Orlando
Van Gundy accepted the Orlando Magic head coaching job in June of 2007 in a trade from Miami for draft picks. In his first season with the Magic, Van Gundy led Orlando to 52 wins and their first division championship since the 1995-96 season. The Magic won their first round matchup in the playoffs, before losing to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the 2008-09 season, the Magic won 59 games and a second consecutive division title. Van Gundy guided the Magic to the NBA Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In his third season with the Orlando Magic, Van Gundy amassed 59 wins for the second straight season. That year, he coached the 2010 All-Star Game for the second time in his career and was twice named Coach of the Month (Oct/Nov. and April 2010). The Magic went 52-30 in 2010-11, losing in the first round of the playoffs in six games. In a strike-shortened 2011-12 season, Van Gundy led the Magic to a 37-29 record and a fifth consecutive playoff appearance.
After the 2011-12 season, Van Gundy made comments that Magic's star Dwight Howard wanted him fired. Six weeks later, Orlando fired Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith. In five seasons, he finished with a 259-135 record, going 31-28 in the playoffs. Van Gundy didn't go out quietly, making comments about the Magic's new CEO Alex Martins. 'It's a typical lack of understanding from someone who has no sports knowledge, who has never coached or played...it's a naiveté'