Wizards hire Tom Thibodeau as assistant coach
The Washington Wizards announced today the hiring of Tom Thibodeau as an assistant coach on Head Coach Eddie Jordan’s staff. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are excited and fortunate to have one of the top NBA assistants join our coaching staff,” Jordan said. “Tom has had a tremendous amount of success during his professional career and brings a great deal of experience and energy to our team. His teams have consistently been among the top defensive teams in the NBA and he has an outstanding reputation in player development and game preparation.”
Thibodeau joins the Wizards after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets. Entering his 18th overall season in the NBA, Thibodeau has been an assistant coach with the Rockets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Supersonics and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Under his direction, Thibodeau has helped his team finish in the NBA’s Top 10 in team defense 14 times. He has coached in 87 career NBA playoff games, including New York’s appearance in the 1999 NBA Finals.
During his four seasons with Houston, the Rockets advanced to the postseason on three occasions and posted a pair of 50-win seasons. Thibodeau guided the Rockets to a top five ranking in the NBA in both opponents’ scoring defense and field goal percentage in each of the past four campaigns. In 2005-06, he worked with All-Star Center Yao Ming as he became the first Rockets player to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in a season since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1995-96. Thibodeau also led the Rockets’ summer league teams to a 10-0 record over the past two seasons.
Prior to joining the Rockets, Thibodeau spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks (1996-2003). During his tenure with the Knicks, New York set a then-NBA record by holding 33 consecutive opponents under 100 points in the 2000-2001 season. Thibodeau and the Knicks coaching staff also helped Jeff Van Gundy coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game.
In each of his final four seasons in New York, Thibodeau served as head coach for the Knicks entry in the Shaw’s Boston Summer League. Prior to this, he and current Knicks Assistant General Manager Jeff Nix coached New York’s Summer League entries in Rye Brook, New York and Los Angeles, California.
Thibodeau entered the NBA in 1989 as an assistant coach with the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves under the late Bill Musselman. After two seasons with the Timberwolves, he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 1991 as an advance scout. The following year, Thibodeau moved to San Antonio, where he worked with Jerry Tarkanian and John Lucas as a Spurs assistant coach for two seasons. He left San Antonio to become an assistant coach under Lucas with the Philadelphia 76ers. Thibodeau’s stay in Philadelphia lasted two seasons, at which point he joined the Knicks. With the Knicks, Thibodeau worked with Van Gundy for five years and Don Chaney for two seasons.
Thibodeau’s coaching career began in 1981 as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Salem State College. After three years as an assistant, he became head coach in 1984. The following season, Thibodeau became an assistant coach at Harvard, where he spent four years before leaving for the NBA.
A native of New Britain, Connecticut, Thibodeau graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and a master’s in counseling from Salem State College. He lettered in four seasons at Salem State.