HOUSTON (July 2, 2003) - Houston Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson today announced the hiring of Steve Clifford and Andy Greer as assistant coaches. The Rockets have also reached agreements in principal with Tom Thibodeau and Patrick Ewing to join the team as assistant coaches on Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy's staff.
"Steve, Andy and Tom are all established coaching veterans who bring a lot of experience," said Dawson. "Patrick was one of the greatest centers to play the game and he will be an invaluable asset as a young assistant. Jeff knew exactly who he wanted on his staff and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have reached agreements with all of them prior to the start of the summer league season."
Clifford, Greer and Thibodeau all coached under Van Gundy during his previous tenure with the New York Knicks. Ewing played for Van Gundy prior to spending last season as an assistant with the Washington Wizards.
"I am very happy to have added quality coaches who have done so much for me during my career," said Van Gundy. "Each of these assistants bring with them a wealth of basketball knowledge that I know will be of great value to our players."
Clifford worked the past three seasons for the New York Knicks. He spent the last two years as a Knicks assistant coach following one season as an advance scout. Clifford joined the Knicks staff in September of 2000 after more than a decade of coaching on the collegiate level. Before joining the Knicks, Clifford served as an assistant coach at East Carolina University for one season. He came to East Carolina after four years as head coach at Adelphi University, where he compiled an 86-36 coaching record. Clifford led Adelphi to four straight 20-win seasons, becoming the first coach in school history to record consecutive 20-plus win seasons. He also guided Adelphi to four appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Greer comes to Houston after two seasons as an assistant coach/scout with the New York Knicks. Greer will spearhead Houston's advance scouting duties, observing the Rockets upcoming opponents. Along from his tenure with the Knicks, Greer holds nearly two decades of college coaching experience. He started his coaching career in 1983 at Genesee Community College, assisting Jeff Van Gundy's father, Bill. Greer moved on after two seasons at Genesee, working for two years each at Mansfield University and Brandeis University. He left Brandeis and spent one season as an assistant coach at Boston University, where he aided Mike Jarvis. Greer then coached for three seasons under George Raveling at the University of Southern California. During Greer's stay at USC, the Trojans registered three consecutive winning seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth.
Thibodeau comes to Houston with 13 seasons of NBA coaching experience. He has spent the last seven years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. Thibodeau and the Knicks coaching staff assisted Van Gundy on the Eastern Conference sidelines in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. Thibodeau entered the NBA in 1989 as an assistant coach with the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves. After two seasons with the Timberwolves, he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 1991 as an advance scout. The following season, Thibodeau moved to San Antonio, where he served as a Spurs assistant coach for two seasons. He left San Antonio to become an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. Thibodeau's stay in Philadelphia lasted two seasons, at which point he came to the Knicks.
Ewing comes to Houston after spending last season as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. This marked Ewing's first year in coaching following a celebrated 17-year NBA career with New York, Seattle and Orlando. Holding career averages of 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks, Ewing stands as one of 13 players in NBA history with 20,000 career points and 10,000 career rebounds. In NBA history, Ewing ranks 13th all-time with 24,815 points, 20th all-time with 11,607 rebounds and fifth all-time with 2,894 blocks.