Longest-Tenured NBA Head Coaches

As we detailed on Wednesday, 2021 has been an eventful year on the NBA’s coaching carousel. After two teams made in-season coaching changes, seven more hired new head coaches since the regular season ended, meaning nearly a third of the league’s 30 teams have replaced their head coaches since in the last six-plus months.

While some teams, such as the Pelicans and Pacers, sought new head coaches less than a year after making their previous hires, a number of the coaches who were replaced this offseason had been with their respective teams for quite a while.

Rick Carlisle (Mavericks), Terry Stotts (Trail Blazers), and Brad Stevens (Celtics) each ranked among the top five longest-tenured coaches in the league up until this spring. They’ve all since been replaced by new faces. Scott Brooks (Wizards) was also one of just nine coaches who had been with his club for at least five years. He’s gone too.

Given the turnover in the head coaching ranks, it’s time we update our list sorting the NBA’s 30 head coaches by when they were hired. Here’s the current breakdown of the league’s longest-tenured head coaches by team:

  1. Gregg Popovich, Spurs: December 1996
  2. Erik Spoelstra, Heat: April 2008
  3. Steve Kerr, Warriors: May 2014
  4. Quin Snyder, Jazz: June 2014
  5. Michael Malone, Nuggets: June 2015
  6. James Borrego, Hornets: May 10, 2018
  7. Mike Budenholzer, Bucks: May 17, 2018
  8. Dwane Casey, Pistons: June 11, 2018
  9. Nick Nurse, Raptors: June 14, 2018
  10. Luke Walton, Kings: April 2019
  11. Monty Williams, Suns: May 3, 2019
    • Note: Williams remained a Sixers assistant through the end of Philadelphia’s playoff run.
  12. Frank Vogel, Lakers: May 13, 2019
  13. Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies: June 2019
  14. J.B. Bickerstaff, Cavaliers: February 2020
  15. Tom Thibodeau, Knicks: July 2020
  16. Steve Nash, Nets: September 3, 2020
  17. Billy Donovan, Bulls: September 22, 2020
  18. Doc Rivers, Sixers: October 3, 2020
  19. Tyronn Lue, Clippers: October 20, 2020
  20. Stephen Silas, Rockets: October 30, 2020
  21. Mark Daigneault, Thunder: November 2020
  22. Chris Finch, Timberwolves: February 2021
  23. Nate McMillan, Hawks: March 2021
    • Note: McMillan was an interim head coach until being named the permanent coach on July 8, 2021.
  24. Rick Carlisle, Pacers: June 24, 2021
  25. Chauncey Billups, Trail Blazers: June 27, 2021
  26. Ime Udoka, Celtics: June 28, 2021
  27. Jason Kidd, Mavericks: June 28, 2021
  28. Jamahl Mosley, Magic: July 11, 2021
  29. Wes Unseld Jr., Wizards: July 17, 2021
  30. Willie Green, Pelicans: July 22, 2021
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