Gregg Popovich is one of the most successful and tenured coaches in the history of the NBA. He’s been the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996, a total of 22 seasons. He has amassed a record-setting 21 consecutive winning seasons, won Coach of the Year three times, and won five NBA championships as a head coach, all with the Spurs, a feat achieved by only four others in NBA history.
Gregg Popovich Net Worth As Of 2019: $30 Million
Coach Pop is in the fourth year of a five year contract worth $55 million. His hefty salary makes him one of the top five highest-paid coaches in professional sports. Let’s see where it all began for one of the NBA’s all-time coaching greats.
Popovich was born in East Chicago, Indiana, in 1949. He attended Merrillville High School and graduated in 1970 from the United States Air Force Academy. He played basketball for four seasons at the Academy and in his senior year was the team captain and the leading scorer. Popovich served five years of required active duty in the United States Air Force, during which he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Team. In 1972 he was selected as captain of the Armed Forces Team, which won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championship. This earned him an invitation to the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team trials.
Popovich returned to the Air Force Academy as an assistant coach in 1973 under head coach Hank Egan, a position he held for six years. Egan later became an assistant coach under Popovich for the San Antonio Spurs. In 1979, he was named the head basketball coach of Pomona-Pitzer’s men’s team where he coached until 1988. During his time at Pomona-Pitzer, Popovich became a pupil and later close friend of head coach Larry Brown at the University of Kansas. Popovich took off the 1985–86 season at Pomona-Pitzer to become a volunteer assistant at Kansas, where he could study directly under Brown.
After the 1987-88 season, Popovich joined Larry Brown as the lead assistant coach for the Spurs. From 1988 to 1992, Popovich was Brown’s top assistant, until the entire staff was fired by owner Red McCombs. Popovich moved to the Golden State Warriors for a brief stint, and in 1994, he returned to San Antonio as the general manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations. After the Spurs had a 3–15 start in the 1996–97 season, Popovich fired coach Bob Hill and named himself head coach. The Spurs would finish the season with only 17 wins, which allowed them to draft Tim Duncan with the first overall pick. A dynasty was born and in 1999 they won their first title.
After the Spurs 1999 championship, Popovich went on to win four more with the Spurs in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. He currently sits seventh on the all-time list of most winningest NBA coaches with 1,150 wins. Throughout his career, he has a remarkable .684 winning percentage and has won Coach of the Year three times, in 2003, 2012, and 2014.
Popovich has two children with his late wife, Erin, who sadly passed away in April 2018.
Gregg Popovich might not favor the trend of superstars going to big markets but he believes it’s up to players to decide how to live their lives.