September 17, 1961 |
Island Falls, Maine
|1985-1989||Saint Anselm (asst.)|
|1990-1994||Boston University (asst.)|
|1999-2000||East Carolina (asst.)|
|2000-2001||New York Knicks (advance scout)|
|2001-2003||New York Knicks (asst.)|
|2003-2007||Houston Rockets (asst.)|
|2007-2012||Orlando Magic (asst.)|
|2012-2013||Los Angeles Lakers (asst.)|
|2013-present||Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets|
Born in Island Falls, Maine, Clifford grew up in Mattawamkeag, Maine, until the third grade, when he moved to Vermont. He played varsity basketball under Gerald Clifford, his father and head coach at North Country Union High School in Newport, Vermont.
Clifford matriculated the University of Maine at Farmington, where he played college basketball for four years. In his final two seasons, he was team captain and was named Best Defensive Player. He graduated with a degree in special education.
After graduating from college, Clifford became a teacher at Woodland High School in Maine. He also gained his first coaching experience at the school, serving as their head coach for two seasons while leading them to two tournaments. He then served as an assistant coach at St. Anselm's College, Fairfield University, Boston University and Siena College. In 1995, he assumed the head coaching duties at Adelphi University and coached for four seasons under Keith Dickson, leading their team to four appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament, an 86-36 (.705) record and four consecutive 20-win seasons; he was the first coach in the school's history with back-to-back 20-plus win seasons.
Clifford became an NBA assistant coach with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy and quickly developed a reputation as a defensive expert. He then was an assistant for Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic. He considers both the Van Gundy brothers as mentors. He reached the NBA Playoffs in each of his five seasons with Orlando, appearing in the NBA Finals in 2009.
Clifford implemented a defensive mentality in Charlotte during his first year as head coach turning the Charlotte Bobcats into a top five defensive team when in the years prior to his tenure they ranked near the bottom of the NBA in that category. He led the Bobcats to the 2014 NBA playoffs in his first year as head coach, during which he coached the Bobcats to a 43-39 record. The two years prior to him joining the Bobcats only had a combined total of 28 wins. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for April 2014 after he led the Bobcats to a 7-1 record leading to the playoffs. He finished fourth in Coach of the Year voting in his first year. On December 6, 2017, it was announced that Clifford would not coach indefinitely to deal with his health issue. On January 11, 2018, the Hornets announced that Clifford was medically cleared to return to coaching after a 21-game absence after dealing with sleep deprivation.
|Adelphi Panthers (New York Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1995-1999)|
|1995-96||Adelphi||23-7||17-5||2nd||NCAA D-II First Round|
|1996-97||Adelphi||21-9||17-5||3rd||NCAA D-II First Round|
|1997-98||Adelphi||22-8||18-4||3rd||NCAA D-II First Round|
|1998-99||Adelphi||20-12||14-8||3rd||NCAA D-II Sweet 16|
|Adelphi University:||86-36 (.705)||66-22|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
|Charlotte||2013-14||82||43||39||.524||3rd in Southeast||4||0||4||.000||Lost in First Round|
|Charlotte||2014-15||82||33||49||.402||4th in Southeast||--||--||--||--||Missed playoffs|
|Charlotte||2015-16||82||48||34||.585||3rd in Southeast||7||3||4||.429||Lost in First Round|
|Charlotte||2016-17||82||36||46||.439||4th in Southeast||--||--||--||--||Missed playoffs|