Detroit Pistons 2016–17 Yearbook 11 During the 2004 NBA Playoffs, Miami defeated New Orleans during the First Round, 4-3, making Van Gundy just the fourth rookie coach in NBA history to win a decisive seventh game during a playoff series. He guided the Heat to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for just the third time in franchise history, where they eventually fell to top-seeded Indiana in six games. With the addition of an All-Star center in Shaquille O’Neal, and raised expectations, Van Gundy led the Heat to a 59-23 record in 2004-05, the second-most wins during a single season in team history, and the Southeast Division title. The Heat won the division by 14 games, the largest margin for any division winner in the NBA that season. For the second straight time, he guided the Heat to a 17-win improvement from the previous season, making him only the second coach in NBA history to lead his team to at least 15-win improvements in consecutive seasons. Van Gundy was named head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars for the 2005 NBA All-Star Game in Denver, where he led the East to a 10-point win. He also earned NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors in both December 2004 and March 2005. The Heat went on a franchise-record 14-game winning streak from December 6 – January 1 and later reeled off 12 consecutive victories from February 26 - March 19, becoming the first Eastern Conference team with a pair of double-digit win streaks in the same season since the 1995-96 NBA Champion Chicago Bulls. During the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, recording four-game sweeps of both New Jersey and Washington. It marked just the second time in Heat history the team reached the Conference Finals and came within minutes of a trip to the NBA Finals, before falling to Detroit in Game 7. It was also the first time in team history that Miami had advanced to at least the Conference Semifinals in consecutive seasons. Van Gundy spent 12 years with the Heat, arriving prior to the 1995-96 campaign and served as assistant coach under Pat Riley for two seasons. He was elevated to assistant head coach in 1997, a position he held for six seasons, and was the team’s lead assistant until being named head coach on Oct. 24, 2003. Prior to his tenure with Miami, Van Gundy coached at the University of Wisconsin for three seasons, including head coach in 1994-95. He began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Vermont from 1981-83, then served as head coach at Castleton State College (VT) from 1983-86. After stints as an assistant coach at Canisius College (1986-87) and Fordham (1987- 88), he was head coach at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell from 1988-92. In eight years as a college head coach, Van Gundy compiled a record of 135-92 (.595). A native of Indio, Ca., Van Gundy was born on August 26, 1959. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Science in physical education from SUNY-Brockport in 1981. While at SUNY-Brockport, Van Gundy played basketball for his father, Bill. His brother, Jeff, was a head coach in the NBA for 11 seasons, most recently with the Houston Rockets from 2003-07. Van Gundy and his wife, Kim, have four children.
2016-17 Detroit Pistons Yearbook
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