Jeff Hornacek | Coaching Consultant | Utah Jazz
Jeff Hornacek is currently a coaching consultant for the Utah Jazz. After a successful NBA playing career, Hornacek launched his coaching career and served as the head coach of two NBA franchises. He was the head coach for the New York Knicks from 2016-2018. He arrived in New York following three seasons (2013-14 through 2015-16) at the helm of the Phoenix Suns, where he compiled a 101-112 (.474) overall mark. In his first year in Phoenix, he guided the Suns to a 48-34 record, representing a league-high 23-win improvement over the prior season. He was runner-up to San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award and became just the third person in league history to be named both Player and Coach of the Month over the course of their career (December 1991, December 2013), joining Larry Bird and Larry Drew.
Hornacek’s coaching career follows an honor-laden playing tenure that spanned 14 seasons (1986-87 through 1999-2000) with three teams, over which he averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 assists and .496 shooting over 1,077 career games (910 starts). Originally drafted by the Suns in the second round (46th overall) of the 1986 NBA Draft, he spent the first six years of his career in Phoenix, earning NBA All-Star honors in 1991-92 when he averaged a career-high 20.1 points in his final Suns season.
On Jun. 17, 1992, Jeff was traded to Philadelphia as part of the blockbuster deal that landed future Hall of Famer Charles Barkley in Phoenix. After a season-and-a-half with the 76ers, he was traded to Utah in February 1994 in a deal that turned out to be a major turning point for both Jeff and the Jazz.
In seven seasons with the Jazz (1993-94 through 1999-2000), Hornacek averaged 14.4 points and teamed with future Hall of Famer John Stockton to form the backcourt that helped lead Utah to back-to-back Western Conference Championships in 1997 and 1998. With the Jazz, he won the Three-Point Shootout at All-Star weekend twice. After helping lead the Jazz to the NBA Playoffs in each of his seven years in with the team, Hornacek was accorded the ultimate honor when the Jazz retired his No. 14 on Nov. 19, 2002. One of the greatest shooters in the game’s history, Hornacek ranks 19th on the all-time NBA career list with an .877 career free throw percentage, leading the league with .950 from the stripe in his final season (1999-2000).
Hornacek played for some of the most fabled coaches in the game’s history, including John MacLeod and Cotton Fitzsimmons in Phoenix, Doug Moe in Philadelphia, Sloan in Utah, and Johnny Orr in college.
At Iowa State, Jeff evolved from a walk-on to an All-Big Eight First Team selection as a senior, leading the Cyclones to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1986. A career 10.7 scorer in college, his number 14 was retired by Iowa State in 1991.