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updated: 5/1/2012 3:12 PM

Thibodeau loses NBA coaching honors to Popovich

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  • San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich won Coach of the Year honors Tuesday over runner-up Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls. Both coaches led their teams to 50-16 records in the regular season.

    San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich won Coach of the Year honors Tuesday over runner-up Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls. Both coaches led their teams to 50-16 records in the regular season.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau won't repeat as the NBA's top coach this season.

Gregg Popovich won NBA's Coach of the Year after leading the San Antonio Spurs to 50 wins in the lockout-shortened season and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, league officials announced Tuesday. Thibodeau also led the Bulls to a 50-16 record in the 2011-12 season.

Popovich also won the award in 2003 when San Antonio won its second of four championships, and he might be headed for a fifth ring if the Spurs keep this up. After a 12-9 start, the Spurs lost only seven more games the rest of the season.

Popovich totaled 467 points, including 77 first-place votes, easily topping Thibodeau with 315 pints and 27 first-place votes. The voters include 119 sports writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

With Popovich at the helm, the Spurs ranked second in the league in scoring (103.7 ppg) and point-differential (+7.2).

In the second half of the season, however, the Spurs were the league's most dominant team, posting an NBA-best 26-6 (. 813 record while averaging league highs in scoring (108.3 ppg) and point-differential (+10.8).

In the process, Popovich guided the Spurs to their 15th consecutive postseason berth, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.


Coach, Team 1st/2nd/3rd/Pts

Popovich, Spurs 77 /24/10/467

Thibodeau, BULLS 27/53/21/315


1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis

1963-64 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco

1964-65 - Red Auerbach, Boston

1965-66 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia

1966-67 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago

1967-68 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis

1968-69 - Gene Shue, Baltimore

1969-70 - Red Holzman, New York

1970-71 - Dick Motta, Chicago

1971-72 - Bill Sharman, Los Angeles

1972-73 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston

1973-74 - Ray Scott, Detroit

1974-75 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha

1975-76 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland

1976-77 - Tom Nissalke, Houston

1977-78 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta

1978-79 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City

1979-80 - Bill Fitch, Boston

1980-81 - Jack McKinney, Indiana

1981-82 - Gene Shue, Washington

1982-83 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1983-84 - Frank Layden, Utah

1984-85 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1985-86 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta

1986-87 - Mike Schuler, Portland

1987-88 - Doug Moe, Denver

1988-89 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix

1989-90 - Pat Riley, LA Lakers

1990-91 - Don Chaney, Houston

1991-92 - Don Nelson, Golden State

1992-93 - Pat Riley, New York

1993-94 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta

1994-95 - Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers

1995-96 - Phil Jackson, Chicago

1996-97 - Pat Riley, Miami

1997-98 - Larry Bird, Indiana

1998-99 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland

1999-00 - Doc Rivers, Orlando

2000-01 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia

2001-02 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit

2002-03 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2003-04 - Hubie Brown, Memphis

2004-05 - Mike D'Antoni, Phoenix

2005-06 - Avery Johnson, Dallas

2006-07 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto

2007-08 - Byron Scott, New Orleans

2008-09 - Mike Brown, Cleveland

2009-10 -- Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City

2010-11 -- Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

2011-12 -- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

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