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Rookie Coaching Performances Since 2007-08

Jacque Vaughn of the Magic and Mike Dunlap of the Bobcats are both looking to make their mark in the league as first-year head coaches this year. To have an idea of how rookie head coaches have performed in recent history, we've comprised a list of those who have made their debut within the last five seasons, in addition to how they've fared up to this point. 
  • Scott Brooks replaced P.J. Carlesimo as the Thunder head coach after 13 games, finishing the year with a 22-47 record. With four seasons under his belt, his current coaching record stands at 174-125. 
  • With newly hired Marc Iavaroni, the Grizzlies complete the season at 22-60. He would only last an additional 41 games the following year upon going 11-30, being replaced by Johnny Davis and ultimately Lionel Hollins. He is now an assistant for the Clippers. 
  • Reggie Theus guided the Kings to 38-44. After starting 6-18 the following year, Theus was replaced by his assistant and another first-year coach, Kenny Natt. Theus was most recently an assistant for Kurt Rambis in Minnesota, but is not currently in the league. 
  • Jim Boylan finished with a 24-32 record upon replacing Pete Myers, who served as the interim coach for one game after the firing of Scott Skiles. Boylan was eventually replaced by Vinny Del Negro and is now an assistant for Skiles in Milwaukee. 
  • Sam Vincent went 32-50 in his lone year in the NBA as a head coach with the Bobcats. He is not currently in the league. 


  • Erik Spoelstra became head coach of the Heat, starting his career with a 43-39 record. In a total of 312 games, Spoelstra stands at 194-118. 
  • Vinny Del Negro had his first chance at head coaching with the Bulls, guiding Chicago to 41-41. With the same 41-41 record in 2009-10, Del Negro was fired and is eventually hired by the Clippers. He is 154-158 overall. 
  • Kenny Natt served as an interim head coach in Sacramento, but was not retained after an 11-47 record to complete the season. Natt is not currently in the NBA. 
  • Tony Dileo took over for the final 59 games for the 76ers after Mo Cheeks is fired, winning 32 games and losing 27. Dileo is presently working for the team's front office in Philadelphia.
  • Jay Triano guided the Raptors to 33-49 after Sam Mitchell's 8-9 start. Triano was relieved of his head coaching duties after a 62-102 record over the following two seasons. He was recently hired as an assistant coach to Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts
  • Michael Curry lasted one year with the Pistons, going 39-43. He is now serving as an assistant for Doug Collins on the 76ers. 
  • Ed Tapscott took the reins of the Wizards upon the departure of Eddie Jordan, winning 18 of the final 71 games. He is not currently coaching in the NBA. 


  • John Kuester led Detroit to 27 wins and 55 losses. After just a three-win improvement in 2010-11, Kuester is eventually fired and replaced by Lawrence Frank during the 2011 offseason. Last year, he served as an assistant under Mike Brown, and was most recently named an advance scout for the Lakers.   
  • Kiki Vandeweghe ultimately replaced Lawrence Frank and interim coach Tom Barrise on the Nets while still serving as the team's general manager, concluding the season with 12 wins and 52 losses. Vandeweghe was not retained in any capacity the following season. 
  • Jeff Bower was named head coach of the Hornets after Byron Scott's 3-6 start, finishing 34-39. Bower is not currently with an NBA franchise. 
  • Kim Hughes took over as the interim Clippers coach after Mike Dunleavy was fired, finishing at 8-25. Although Hughes was subsequently released that summer, he was recently hired as an assistant coach by the Trail Blazers. 


  • Pacers coach Frank Vogel received his opportunity as an interim coach after Jim O'Brien started the season at 17-27, finishing with a 20-18 record. He remarkably led Indiana to a 42-24 record in 2011-12 and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. In a total of 104 games, Vogel has gone 62-42. 
  • Chicago's Tom Thibodeau made quite the debut, guiding the Bulls to 62-20. After 148 games, Thibodeau owns 112 wins and 36 losses. 
  • Atlanta's Larry Drew started his career with the Hawks at a record of 44-38. Drew followed up with a 6% improvement in winning percentage in 2011-12, and currently stands at 84-64.
  • Tyrone Corbin replaced Jerry Sloan in Utah, grabbing eight wins in the Jazz' final 28 games that year. In 2011-12, Corbin led Utah to the eighth seed at 36-30 and is 44-50 overall. 
  • Monty Williams was able to notch a playoff berth with the Hornets, going 46-36. In his second season, Williams finished 21-45. 


  • Mark Jackson led the Warriors to a 23-43 record. 
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One thought on “Rookie Coaching Performances Since 2007-08

  1. Looks like Thibs is the best rookie hc

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