Chuck Daly

Chuck Daly
Chuck Daly
Born July 20, 1930(1930-07-20)
St. Marys, Pennsylvania,
United States
Died May 9, 2009(2009-05-09) (aged 78)
Jupiter, Florida,
United States

Charles Jerome "Chuck" Daly (July 20, 1930 – May 9, 2009[1]) was an American basketball head coach. He led the Detroit Pistons to consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) Championships in 1989 and 1990, and the Dream Team to the men's basketball gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. He had a 14-year NBA coaching career.


Early life

Born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, to Earl and Geraldine Daly on July 20, 1930, Daly attended Kane Area High School in nearby Kane. He matriculated at St. Bonaventure University for one year before transferring to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1952.[2] After serving two years in the military,[1] he began his basketball coaching career in 1955 at Punxsutawney (PA) High School.

College Career

After compiling a 111–70 record in eight seasons[2] at Punxsutawney (PA) High School, Daly moved on to the college level in 1963 as an assistant coach under Vic Bubas at Duke University. During his six seasons at Duke, the Blue Devils won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and advanced to the Final Four, both in 1964 and 1966.[3] Daly then replaced Bob Cousy as head coach at Boston College in 1969. The Eagles recorded an 11–13 record in Daly's first year at the school, and improved to 15–11 in 1971.[4]

Daly became the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, succeeding Dick Harter. Penn won twenty or more games and captured the Ivy League title in each of its first four seasons with Daly at the helm.[5] The most successful campaign was his first in 1972, when the Quakers recorded a 25–3 record overall (13–1 in their conference), and advanced to the NCAA East Regional Final, eventually losing to North Carolina.[6] An additional significant success for Daly was in 1979, when all five starters on Pennsylvania's Final Four team had initially been recruited by Daly[5]. His overall record after six seasons at the University of Pennsylvania was 125–38 (74–10 within the Ivy League).

NBA/Int'l career

In 1978, Daly joined the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant coach. During the 1981 season, he was hired as head coach by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was fired before the season ended. He then returned to the 76ers as a broadcaster until he was hired in 1983 by the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons, a club that had never recorded back-to-back winning seasons before Daly's tenure, made the NBA playoffs each year he was head coach (1983-1992), as well as reaching the NBA finals three times, winning two consecutive NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. While serving as the Pistons coach, Daly was also a color commentator for TBS's NBA Playoff coverage.

Daly was named head coach of the U.S. "Dream Team" that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, before moving his NBA career onto the New Jersey Nets for the 1992-93 NBA season. Daly stayed with the Nets for two seasons, before his first retirement.

Daly again took up a role as colour commentator for TNT's NBA coverage during the mid-1990's before coming out of retirement to coach the Orlando Magic at the beginning of the 1997-98 season. Daly stayed two seasons with the Magic and then retired permanently.

Daly coached a total of 14 NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic. He compiled a 564–379 (.598) career record, 13th best among all coaches and ninth best by percentage. On the combined NBA/ABA victory list, Daly's 564 wins places him 17th all-time. His 74–48 playoff record ranks fourth best in NBA history by wins and eighth best by percentage (.607). He is the only Hall of Fame coach to win both an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.


Daly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2009, which he died of on May 9, 2009, at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife Terry and their daughter Cydney. He is buried at Riverside Memorial Park in Tequesta, Florida.[7]

College coaching record

Season School (Conference) Overall Record Conference Record (Position) Postseason Tournaments
1969–70 Boston College (independent) 11–13
1970–71 Boston College (independent) 15–11
1971–72 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 25–3 13–1 (1st) NCAA, Regional Final
1972–73 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 21–7 12–2 (1st) NCAA, Second Round
1973–74 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 21–6 13–1 (1st) NCAA, First Round
1974–75 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 23–5 13–1 (1st) NCAA, First Round
1975–76 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 17–9 11–3 (2nd)
1976–77 Pennsylvania (Ivy League) 18–8 12–2 (2nd)
Totals 8 seasons 151–62 74–10

Professional coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L% Win-loss %
Post season PG Games coached PW Games won PL Games lost PW–L% Win-loss %


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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