CHARLOTTE, NC (HORNETS) — Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed Head Coach Steve Clifford to a multiyear contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
â€œWe like what Coach Clifford and his staff have been doing,â€ said Cho. â€œHe has done a really good job over the last two years. We want some continuity and we are excited to have him locked down to an extension. He is very organized and an extremely hard worker who has a great rapport with the players. We are extremely happy to have him here.â€
Clifford was originally named head coach on May 29, 2013, after spending 13 seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks. Clifford led the Hornets to a 10-5 record (.667) in the month of November, marking the first 10-win November in franchise history. In his first year in Charlotte, Clifford guided the team to a playoff berth and a 43-39 record while garnering Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors for April 2014. Charlotte has witnessed three different home winning streaks of five or more games under his tenure. In each of the last two seasons, Charlotte has finished in the top ten in the NBA in defensive rating (fifth in 2013-14 at 103.8 and ninth in 2014-15 at 103.5).
â€œAs much as anything, Iâ€™m excited about the extension because itâ€™s what I wanted to have happen,â€ said Clifford. â€œIâ€™m appreciative to Michael Jordan, Curtis Polk and Rich Cho for the opportunity to see this thing through. I feel like weâ€™ve made good strides since Iâ€™ve been here. I like our guys and I like the team that we can become. I like the people that I work for and from a personal standpoint Iâ€™m really happy.â€
A graduate of the University of Maine-Farmington, Clifford has over 30 years of coaching experience on his resume. He spent 15 years coaching at the collegiate level, including four years as head coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Clifford entered the NBA with the New York Knicks, serving as the teamâ€™s advance scout in 2000-01 and as an assistant coach from 2001-03. He then spent four seasons with the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach to Jeff Van Gundy from 2003-07, before serving as an assistant coach to Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic from 2007-12. In five seasons in Orlando, Clifford helped the Magic to a 259-135 record (.657) and five straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals. Cliffordâ€™s final season as an assistant came in 2012-13 with the Los Angeles Lakers, prior to being hired by Charlotte.
Hornets Sports & Entertainment owns the Charlotte Hornets and operates Charlotteâ€™s Time Warner Cable Arena. The Charlotte Hornets are a member of the NBAâ€™s Southeast Division. Owned by NBA Legend Michael Jordan, the Hornets organization strives to deliver a relentless attack on the court, an unmatched experience in the stands and a positive impact throughout the community. The name of the cityâ€™s original NBA team from 1988-2002, the Hornets moniker returned to Charlotte in May 2014, uniting the rich history of NBA basketball in the Carolinas. Time Warner Cable Arena is the premier destination for sports and entertainment in the Carolinas, hosting over 150 sporting events, concerts and family shows annually. For more information, please visit hornets.com or timewarnercablearena.com.