Wizards name Bill Berry assistant coach
Washington Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has named Bill Berry assistant coach. Berry joins Mike O’Koren, Phil Hubbard, Tom Young and Wes Unseld Jr. on Eddie Jordan’s staff. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Berry has coached and scouted on the professional, collegiate and junior college level for the last 35 seasons, and holds the distinction of winning a championship as an assistant coach in both the professional and collegiate ranks. Berry was an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 championship seasons and was the top assistant for Michigan State’s NCAA title team in 1979.
“Bill has extensive knowledge of the game of basketball,” said Wizards Head Coach Eddie Jordan. “He was a part of a coaching staff that won consecutive NBA championships with the Houston Rockets and also won an NCAA championship at Michigan State. Bill has had the opportunity to work with some outstanding players and coaches during his career. We are confident that he will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff.”
Berry spent the previous two NBA campaigns as an advance scout for the Wizards. Prior to joining the Wizards, Berry spent the previous four seasons (1999-2003) as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls, for whom he served as defensive coordinator in 2002-03. Before joining the Bulls staff, Berry spent eight years (1991-99) with the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach under Rudy Tomjanovich.
During his tenure in the NBA, Berry has coached some of the NBA’s all-time greats in Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler and Scottie Pippen. He originally joined the NBA as an assistant coach and scout for the Sacramento Kings on Dick Motta’s staff from 1989-91.
He served as the head coach at San Jose State from 1979-89, and made appearances in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. In his 10 seasons at San Jose State, Berry’s 142 wins marked the second-highest win total for any coach in school history. From 1977-79, Berry served as the top assistant to Jud Heathcote at his alma matter of Michigan State, where during that span, he coached on of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in Magic Johnson, and won an NCAA title in 1979. Berry’s collegiate coaching career also included a stint as an assistant at the University of California-Berkeley from 1972-77.
Berry played basketball at Michigan State University for Forddy Anderson, and earned an undergraduate degree in physical education, as well as a Master’s degree in physical education at MSU in 1969.