Jay Hernandez  - Magic

With is tireless work ethic and dedication to development Hernandez established Pro Hoops, Inc. in 2004, a basketball training service based in New York for teams and individuals seeking to improve their performance. Their mission is to help basketball players of all ages reach their full potential. Under his leadership, Pro Hoops has grown in its scope of players that are training there, as well as programs that have been established.

Steve Clifford - Hornets 

The fifteen year college coaching veteran is best known as Adelphi HC posting a record of 86-36 (.705) leading the school to four straight 20-win seasons and four straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.  His winning percentage remains the second best of the 12 head coaches in the program’s 65-year history.  Clifford’s first coaching experience came at Woodland High School in Maine. It’s only due to the difference in salary and low probability of making the switch that Clifford ranks low in this category. 

Igor Kokoskov - Jazz

Already a historic icon in the college game he previously served as an assistant at the University of Missouri, becoming the first European coach to hold a full-time position with an NCAA DI institution. 

Nate Bjorkgren - Suns  

Bjorkgren’s ties to Arizona predate his time with the Suns as early in his coaching career he served as the head coach of Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek from 2004-07. The recipient of Arizona state high school coach of the year honors in 2005-06 and regional coach of the year honors in 2004-05 and 2005-06, Bjorkgren led the Falcons to the Class 4A state tournament in each of his three seasons with the school. 

Walter McCarty - Celtics

Beginning as a Community Relations Consultant that would serve him well dealing with boosters and various university athletics associations, McCarty also spent three seasons as an assistant at Louisville.

Steve Hetzel - Hornets

Hetzel is a 2005 graduate of Michigan State, where he served as a student manager for Tom Izzo. Simply put he will always have a home in East Lansing.

Dan Craig - Plymouth State - Heat

Prior to joining the Heat, this bright and promising prospect developed talent of all ages through extensive camp experience. Craig served as a basketball camp counselor for the Five-Star Basketball Camp, Providence College Team Camp, the Merrimack College Basketball Camp, Plymouth State College Basketball Camp, the Raising Expectations Basketball Camp and also directed the Chelmsford Basketball Camp.

Kaleb Canales - Mavericks 

Canales guided the Trail Blazers to a 4-1 mark as head coach in each of the last two NBA Summer League entries on the back of rookies. He also spent the 2003-04 season at the University of Texas-Arlington as an assistant. And worked as an assistant at United High School in Laredo, Texas.

Darren Erman - Pelican 

His unconventional path to NBA coaching came from soccer. After graduating from Northwestern University law school, he landed a cushy job at powerful Chicago law firm Latham & Watkins with a $150,000 annual salary. But he quickly learned basketball, not law, was his passion. He bailed on his budding law career to take a job as an assistant at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., where he worked under legendary coach Bob Hurley. With that aptitude and passion he could coach at any level.

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David Adelman - Magic

Adelman spent five seasons as head basketball coach at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. responsible for assisting in all of the team's player development initiatives going 83-53, leading the Cardinals to Portland Interscholastic district championship. Prior to coaching at Lincoln, Adelman was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Jesuit High School helping the team win a state title in 2005. It’s safe to say this guy knows how to win with a young roster.

Mike Terpstra - Wizards

A graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, he earned MVP honors for two seasons, Terpstra has coached at nearly every level from high school and junior college to the D-League and NBA. It’s a coaching career that started after playing professionally in Europe and Australia, he won three California state championships at Ripon Christian High School (two as HC). Terpstra also served as an assistant at University of Pacific.

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Chris Finch  - Rockets

Experienced in working with youth and well known overseas for a direct recruiting pipeline, Finch has built programs up from nothing including a one time dormant Great Britain National Team that he turned into champions winning FIBA’s 2007 Division B Promotional Competition.

Bret Brielmaier - Nets 

His coaching career began with the younger guys in a player development and assistant role . But prior to that, the Arizona grad. served as an undergraduate assistant coach under Hall of Fame head coach Lute Olsen. While the Nets may struggle overall, his focus on driving the ball and  in passing both rank in the leagues top five; two stats sure to work well in college.

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Mark Madsen - Lakers 

The recent Stanford GA for then coach Dawkins excelled at working recruiting, opponent game planning, and player skill development. Incidentally, those skill sets may be just what Dawkins needs now in Orlando.

Micah Shrewsberry - Celtics

A former Purdue and Butler assistant, Shrewsberry learned the college game well from Painter and Stevens. He also has administrative experience as former coordinator of basketball operations for Butler during the 2007-08 season.

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David Adkins - Wizards

Specializing in working with the younger players on the roster in a development role before jumping up to an AC spot in D.C., Adkins spent five seasons working as an assistant with the University of Maryland's women's team and spent many years coaching in some of the top DMV high schools before that.   

Jason Tilton - Suns  

Tilton has tons of college experience as a former staffer at Long Beach State, St. John’s and Cal State Fullerton. The former Clippers video coordinator graduated from UCLA  as a team manager who also gained experience working with the San Antonio Spurs and USA Basketball. 

Jordan Ott - Nets

Only four years removed as video coordinator and GA for Izzo at Michigan State, Ott also worked as an assistant coach with the Dominican Republic national team in last summer’s FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City to develop international pipelines that would serve him well in college.

Ben Sullivan - Hawks

The former Cal-State Northridge and University of Portland player also competed professionally in China, Germany and Chile following graduation. After his playing career, Sullivan joined University of Portland’s coaching staff then was an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark College in Portland before joining the Spurs and currently the Hawks. One of the top defensive teams in the league, Sullivan would bring that ability to excel in college guarding 10 feet in.

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Nick Van Exel - Grizzlies 

The former Texas Southern assistant coach is fondly remembered in college basketball. An all star final four performer at Cincinnati he got his coaching start by mentoring a very young Golden State as the elder teammate towards the end of his playing career. The Huggins disciple also developed a wide network in the college coaching game not only as a former player but through his children and nephews working the process in recent years.  

Doc Rivers - Clippers

Experienced in raising high level players of his own by letting the game come to them from childhood, it’s obvious he has the intangibles to excel at the college level. Furthermore, his high scoring system playing at the rim while kicking it out for the frequent three ball would transition well to play against the zone defense and with a longer shot clock.

Mike Brown - Warriors

The highly successful long time NBA defensive specialist coach and Ohio native now has kids of his own entering college. Thus he is familiar with the process and maintains a wide network of college coaches learning and exchanging ideas. If ever interested, Brown would make an ideal candidate for coaching collegially.  

Juwan Howard - Heat 

A big time name college kids would respect almost as much as his influence on post points and working the longer college shot clock for closer shots. Howard’s lasting imprint on college as a Fab Five member continues to influence everything from dress to the  current Kentucky and Duke model working with multiple super stars on one team.

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Scott Duncan - Suns

The former associate head coach at the University of Wyoming totals more than 35 years of experience in college basketball. His accomplishments include a Mountain West tournament title and stops at UCLA, Oregon, Clemson, Washington State, Northern Illinois, Fresno State, New Mexico and Cleveland State.

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Jay Larranaga - Celtics 

Son of Miami head coach Jim Larranaga, Jay has the easiest transition path which is why he ranks at the top of this list. Following his fathers footsteps he has served as an assistant coach at Cornell University, served as head coach of the Irish National Team for two years. Larranaga played professionally in Italy, Spain, France and Greece for twelve years winning three championships

Top NBA HC's and AC's Best Suited for the College Game

When establishing what NBA HC’s and AC’s are best suited to coach the college game our panelists focused on guys who emphasize NBA stats which best fit the college game. For example: passes per game, points from assists per game, guarding ten feet in, and more

 

Also considered were such intangibles as: the coaches ability to function as a father figure, maintaining eligibility requirements, coping with parents, boosters and other outside influences, experience working with youth basketball; and more.