There are generally two philosophies when a team is looking for their next head coach: a young up-and-comer that can relate to the players or a long-time veteran that can command the respect of 20 year-old millionaires. While young coaches get much of the press, there are some senior citizens still leading NBA teams.
Who are the oldest coaches in the NBA? Let’s break it down.
Here are the top 5 oldest NBA coaches during the 2022-2023 season.
- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs – 74 years old
Popovich has already secured his spot on the Mount Rushmore of NBA coaches. His first year leading the Spurs (1996) was before many of the current NBA players were born. The Spurs haven’t made it beyond the first round of the playoffs since 2016-17. Regardless, Popovich will retire on his terms.
- Dwane Casey, Detroit Pistons – 65 years old
Casey has been a head coach for Minnesota, Toronto and Detroit. Time may be running out for Casey as he finds himself near the top of the hot seat.
- Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks – 64 years old
Thibodeau has a career record over .500, but has had trouble gaining traction while leading the Knicks. He’s also a leader on the aforementioned hot seat.
- Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers – 62 years old
A veteran that got his NBA head coaching career started with Detroit in 2001. This is his second stint with Indiana (previously 2003-2007). The first stint went better than the second.
- Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets – 61 years old
Also in his second stint with the Hornets with time spent leading the Orlando Magic in between. This season has been rough. A quick improvement is needed to avoid the top of the hot seat for Clifford.
Do we notice a trend with the top 5 oldest coaches in the NBA? Maybe it’s time for retirement and the golf course.