Gregg Popovich has been named the NBA's 2011/12 Coach of the Year, the league officially announced today. It's the second Red Auerbach trophy for the longtime Spurs coach, who also took home the award in 2003.
Popvich's Spurs entered the season as something of an afterthought in a Southwest Division that also featured the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. Although the Spurs didn't receive much recognition in experts' preseason predictions, San Antonio finished the season tied for the NBA's best record at 50-16.
Popovich led the team to three separate 11-game winning streaks and a number one seed in the West, while managing to rest his stars frequently during the lockout-shortened season. He also integrated other teams' cast-offs like Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson into his rotation over the season's final few weeks, and was responsible for arguably the box-score highlight of the year.
Tom Thibodeau of the Bulls, Frank Vogel of the Pacers, Lionel Hollins of the Grizzlies, and Doc Rivers of the Celtics were among the other candidates for the award, finishing second through fifth respectively.