Gregg Popovich is an American basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Let’see some fun facts about him!
1. Gregg Charles Popovich was born January 28, 1949 in East Chicago,Indiana on January 28, 1949, to a Serb father and Croat mother.
2. He started his basketball career playing Biddy Basketball and was on the 1960 Gary Biddy Basketball All-Star Team which finished third in the World Tournament, held at Gary’s Memorial Auditorium.
3. He attended Merrillville High School and graduated in 1970 from the United States Air Force Academy. He played basketball for four seasons at the Academy and in his senior year was the team captain and the leading scorer.
4. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Soviet Studies, and he underwent Air Force intelligence gathering and processing training. At one point, Popovich considered a career with the Central Intelligence Agency.
5. Popovich served five years of required active duty in the United States Air Force, during which he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Team.
7. In 1972, he was selected as captain of the Armed Forces Team, which won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) 6championship. This earned him an invitation to the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team trials.
8. Popovich returned to the Air Force Academy as an assistant coach in 1973 under head coach Hank Egan, a position he held for six years. Egan would later become an assistant coach under Popovich for the San Antonio Spurs.
9. During his time with the coaching staff of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Popovich attended the University of Denver and earned his master’s degree in physical education and sports sciences.
10. In 1979, he was named the head basketball coach of Pomona-Pitzer’s men’s team. Popovich coached Pomona-Pitzer men’s basketball from 1979 to 1988, leading the team to its first outright title in 68 years.
11. On multiple occasions, Popovich has spoken out on behalf of social justice issues, including the Women’s March. He has also vocally criticized Donald Trump.
12. Popovich served on the coaching staff for the U.S. national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship (assisting George Karl), the 2003 FIBA America Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament and the 2004 Olympic Games, where the U.S. won a bronze medal.
13. On October 23, 2015, Popovich was named as the next head coach of the U.S. national team. He will take over duties from current head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Olympic Games