Steve Clifford
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Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford in 2010.jpg
Charlotte Hornets
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1961-09-17) September 17, 1961 (age 56)
Island Falls, Maine
Nationality American
Career information
High school
College Maine-Farmington (1979-1983)
Coaching career 1983-present
Career history
As coach:
1983-1985 Woodland HS
1985-1989 Saint Anselm (asst.)
1989-1990 Fairfield (asst.)
1990-1994 Boston University (asst.)
1994-1995 Siena (asst.)
1995-1999 Adelphi
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

Steven Gerald Clifford (born September 17, 1961) is an American basketball coach who is currently the head coach for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Early life

Born in Island Falls, Maine, Clifford grew up in Mattawamkeag, Maine, until the third grade, when he moved to Vermont.[1] He played varsity basketball under Gerald Clifford, his father and head coach at North Country Union High School in Newport, Vermont.[2][3]

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.[4]

Coaching career

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.[2][5] 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.[5]

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.[2] He considers both the Van Gundy brothers as mentors.[6] He reached the NBA Playoffs in each of his five seasons with Orlando, appearing in the NBA Finals in 2009.

Clifford then joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13 as an assistant.

Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets

On May 29, 2013, Clifford was hired by the Charlotte Bobcats to be their head coach.[7]

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.[8][9] On January 11, 2018, the Hornets announced that Clifford was medically cleared to return to coaching[10] after a 21-game absence after dealing with sleep deprivation.[11]

Head coaching record


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
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
Total: 86-36 (.705)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Team Year G W L W-L% Finish PG PW PL PW-L% Result
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
Career 328 160 168 .488 11 3 8 .273

See also


  1. ^ Clark, Ernie (June 12, 2013). "Maine native Clifford works way into NBA's head coaching fraternity at Charlotte". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Maine native Steve Clifford named Bobcats head coach". Bangor Daily News. May 27, 2013. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ Reed, Steve (May 28, 2013). "Charlotte Bobcats reportedly hire coach with Vermont ties". Burlington Free Press. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Steve Clifford". Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b DiFillipo, Matt (November 25, 2011). "BASKETBALL: Clifford still learning". Kennebec Journal. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ Media, Mark (August 15, 2012). "Lakers assistant coach candidate profile: Steve Clifford". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Charlotte Bobcats Name Steve Clifford Head Coach". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 29, 2013. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  8. ^ "Steve Clifford Status Update". Charlotte Hornets. December 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018. 
  9. ^ Reed, Steve (December 6, 2017). "Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with 'health issue'". Retrieved 2018. 
  10. ^ "Steve Clifford Status Update". Charlotte Hornets. January 11, 2018. Retrieved 2018. 
  11. ^ "Hornets coach Clifford back to work after sleep deprivation". USA TODAY. January 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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