Jeff Van Gundy (born January 19 1962 in Hemet, California) is an American Basketball Head coach, most recently with the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets. Van Gundy transferred to Menlo College and ultimately graduated from New York's Nazareth College (1985) after he was cut from Yale University's basketball team.
Van Gundy grew up the son of a basketball coach, Bill Van Gundy, the former head coach at Brockport State University in Western New York. Jeff Van Gundy's brother Stan Van Gundy is currently the head coach of the NBA's Orlando Magic.
Van Gundy began his basketball coaching career at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York. The following year, he became a graduate assistant under Rick Pitino at Providence College, helping the Friars advance to the Final Four. In his second season at Providence, he was promoted to assistant coach under Gordon Chiesa. The next season, Van Gundy became an assistant coach under Bob Wenzel at Rutgers.
On July 28, 1989, Jeff Van Gundy became assistant coach for the New York Knicks. The next six-and-a-half seasons would be spent providing support to Stu Jackson (1989-1990), John MacLeod (1990-1991) , Pat Riley (1991-1995) and Don Nelson (1995-1996). The Knicks never finished lower than third in the Atlantic Division (NBA), won three division titles, and qualified for the playoffs in every year of his tenure as an assistant coach. The Knicks would advance to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1993 and the NBA Finals vs. the Houston Rockets in 1994.
From March 8, 1996 to his resignation on December 8, 2001, Van Gundy was the head coach of the New York Knicks. He led the Knicks to the playoffs six times, including an appearance in the 1999 NBA Finals. He is the brother of Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy.
Van Gundy was hired by the Rockets in 2003. On May 18, 2007, Van Gundy was fired from his position as head coach of the Houston Rockets after their seven-game first-round playoff loss to the Utah Jazz. Later that night, Van Gundy was a guest analyst for ESPN's broadcast of the Utah Jazz-San Antonio Spurs game in San Antonio, Texas and has since helped cover the playoffs for ESPN in the broadcast booth.
"JVG", as he is called in Internet fandom, created a memorable scene in the 1998 NBA Playoffs series between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. When the Heat's Alonzo Mourning and the Knicks' Larry Johnson engaged in a violent, bench-clearing brawl, Van Gundy unsuccessfully tried to break up the fight.
In 2001, in a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Danny Ferry had elbowed Marcus Camby. While talking to the referee, Camby lost control and decided to throw a punch at Ferry. Instead of hitting Ferry, Camby had missed completely and hit coach Van Gundy instead.
In May 2005, he was fined $100,000 by the NBA for accusing referees of investigating the on-court actions of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming on the recommendation of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. This is the largest fine ever handed down to a coach in NBA history.
- BasketballReference.com: Jeff Van Gundy
- Why Houston Rockets Coach Jeff Van Gundy Is a More Fitting Free Speech Hero Than New York Times Reporter Judith Miller - Michael C. Dorf, FindLaw, May 11, 2005