By Matt Johnson @mattytheole on September 2, 2014
Houston Rockets fans have seen many coaches come and go since first becoming a professional basketball franchise in 1967. The Rockets moved from San Diego to Houston in 1972 and have had 10 different head coaches lead the team to 28 total postseason appearances over the past 42 seasons. Houston has also made four trips to the NBA Finals while winning two NBA titles during the same time span. Here are the top five coaches in Rockets history.
Known for his hard-nosed approach, Rick Adelman coached the Rockets for four seasons between 2008 and 2011, posting winning records each year. The Rockets also made two playoff appearances under Adelman and won 50 games twice while going 193-135 overall with him at the helm.
Don Chaney coached Houston for three-plus years while making the playoffs three times from 1988-92. He enjoyed his best-ever season with the Rockets in 1991, guiding Houston to a 52-30 record while being named NBA Coach of the Year. Overall, Chaney went 164-134 as coach of the Rockets before being replaced by Rudy Tomjanovich in 1992.
Del Harris’ regular season record with Houston wasn’t exactly sterling (151-187), but his teams consistently made playoff appearances during his four-year tenure as coach. Most importantly, Harris directed the Rockets to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance in 1981, where Houston fell to the Boston Celtics in six games.
One of the winningest coaches in NBA history, Bill Fitch enjoyed a run of success as coach of the Rockets from 1983-88. During his five years at the helm, Houston went 216-194 while making four playoff appearances and a trip to the 1986 NBA Finals. Fitch was also responsible for drafting Hakeem Olajuwon with the No. 1 overall pick in 1984.
Easily the most successful coach in franchise history, Rudy Tomjanovich won more than 500 games with the Rockets in his 12 years leading the team. A former Rockets player, Tomjanovich led Houston to seven playoff trips during his coaching career, including back-to-back NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995. Overall, Tomjanovich’s teams went 503-397 from 1991-2003.
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