Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams is the 2022 recipient of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award recognizes the dedication, commitment, and hard work of NBA Head Coaches and is presented annually to a Head Coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court. It honors the spirit of Mr. Goldberg, the esteemed long-time Executive Director of the NBCA, who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation, and tireless promotion of NBA coaching. The award is unique in that it is voted upon by the winners’ peers, the Head Coaches of all 30 NBA teams.
All told, 6 Head Coaches received votes, once again reflecting the depth of coaching excellence in the NBA. In addition to Williams, the following Head Coaches also received votes [listed alphabetically]: Willie Green, New Orleans Pelicans; Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies; Tyronn Lue, Los Angeles Clippers; Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs; and Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat.
“Congratulations to Monty Williams on winning the Michael H. Goldberg Award for a second consecutive season,” said Indiana Pacers Head Coach and NBCA President Rick Carlisle. “Each of his three seasons with the Suns has produced a double-digit increase in wins from the previous year, which is extraordinarily difficult to do. Congratulations again to Monty and his entire staff on a repeat of this most prestigious recognition by his peers.”
Coach Williams led the Suns to a 64-18 record, best in the NBA and a new Suns franchise record for most wins in a season. The Suns captured their second straight Pacific Division title. They also became the first team in NBA history to increase their win total by at least 11 games in three consecutive seasons.
The Suns were as formidable on the road as they were at home. They had a 32-9 record on the road, tied for the third best in NBA history. The team’s .780 winning percentage on the road is a better winning percentage than every other NBA team’s home winning percentage this season. The Suns join the 1969-70 New York Knicks as the only teams to ever accomplish this feat. The Suns were a perfect 8-0 on the road in both November and January. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Suns are the only team in NBA history with multiple unbeaten months (minimum 8 games) on the road in the same season.
Phoenix finished the season fifth in offensive rating (114.2), fourth in defensive rating (106.8), and first in net rating (7.5).
The Suns set an NBA record by going 47-0 when leading after three quarters, shattering the previous record (43-0), and were an impressive 17-17 when trailing after three quarters. This marks only the ninth time in NBA history a team has been .500 or better when trailing entering the fourth quarter. Phoenix was also a perfect 16-0 in November, the most wins in a month and the most wins without a loss in a month in franchise history.
Coach Williams won Western Conference Coach of the Month honors for October/November 2021 and January 2022.
“I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be recognized by my peers and receive the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the NBCA,” said Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams. “The coaches in our league sacrifice so much to serve their teams, and there are so many outstanding coaches deserving of this honor. It is incredibly humbling to again receive this recognition from this group, for whom I hold the utmost respect. Thank you to my fellow coaches and to everyone at the NBCA…you guys deserve an award for the work that you do for us and our families.
This honor carries added significance because it bears Mr. Goldberg’s name. He cared dearly for all of the league’s coaches and worked tirelessly for our best interests. He was a consistent example of class and sacrificed his time so that we could have better jobs and livelihoods.
Individual accolades are a result of team success. My name gets attached to this award, but the success of our team is due to the work put in everyday by our players, coaching staff, and every member of the Suns organization. This honor is reflective of the efforts of countless people and it is a privilege to work alongside you all. It’s a get to, not a got to.
I am so grateful for each one of our players and staff. It is a blessing and a joy to interact with you all every day. I thank you for making this such a special season for our organization and for our fans – and also for me and my family.”
“Monty Williams is extremely deserving of this Award and the recognition that comes with it from his coaching peers,” said David Fogel, NBCA Executive Director and General Counsel. “Coach Williams’ hard work, commitment, and dedication to his craft and his players led the Suns to an incredible season and the best record in the NBA. Monty embodies the same high levels of integrity and excellence that Michael displayed every day of his life. Congratulations to Coach Williams, the Suns Assistant Coaches, and the entire staff on back-to-back Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year honors.”
In 1980, just four years after the NBCA was founded, Goldberg became its first Executive Director. Building on the existing NBCA foundation, he guided it during the years of the greatest growth in professional basketball. He helped gain significant benefits for NBA Coaches, including increased retirement funds and disability insurance. Prior to the NBCA, Goldberg was General Counsel of the American Basketball Association.