(BOSTON) - New Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens will be just the 24th head coach in NBA history with no experience with a pro team.
Four of the 20 winningest coaches in NBA history made the jump directly from college. But the list also includes Long Island University's Roy Rubin, whose 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers managed just nine wins, a futility record that stood for 39 years. Rubin was fired with a record of 4-47.
Three other college-to-pro coaches' winning percentages rank among the 20 worst among coaches who lasted at least 20 games.
As a group, the 23 coaches posted career winning percentages of .405, and first-season percentages of .393.
Pacers play-by-play man Mark Boyle says how a coach does depends on his support from ownership, the quality of his assistants, the owners' willingness to be patient, and his recognition of the differences between the college and pro game.
And Boyle and Indiana Sportstalk host Bob Lovell note most college coaches who make the jump have one handicap in common: their players aren't very good. The rebuilding Celtics are expected to continue that trend. But both say Stevens' temperament is likely to eliminate one pitfall, by earning the players' respect.
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