The Coaches of Team USA

America's Olympic Men's Basketball Coaches, from 1936 to Today

LeBron James hangs his Olympic gold medal around the neck of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski
LeBron James hangs his Olympic gold medal around the neck of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, as fellow "Redeem Team" members Michael Redd and Jason Kidd look on. Getty Images / Harry How

The men's national basketball team of the United States won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They automatically qualified for the Olympics by winning the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014. The team was coached by Mike Krzyzewski of , with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder). The 2016 team consisted of just two returning players from the 2012 Olympic gold-medal winning team, Kevin Durant and the new team captain, Carmelo Anthony.

After winning gold with his "Redeem Team" at the Beijing Games in 2008, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was expected to hand the reins of Team USA to one of his assistants -- possibly Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks.

Pre-Game Prognostications

“I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we’re extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005. “I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We’ve got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth.” 

“I’m anxious to get on the court, and along with my great coaching staff, get to work,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who by serving as head coach of his third Olympic squad is now tied with coaching legend Henry Iba for the most U.S. Olympic basketball head coaching assignments. “Since 2006 and including the last two Olympics, our players have represented themselves, the game and our country in an exemplary manner. I know this team will continue that standard.

“Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me. We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we’re big and athletic, and I think we’ll really be able to defend.”

Hank Iba, who won Olympic Gold with Team USA in 1964 and 1968 -- and was robbed of a third when Russia won -- amidst massive controversy -- in 1972.

The Coaches of Team USA Basketball

If you don't recognize some of the names on this list, don't be ashamed. In the early days of Olympic basketball, Team USA largely comprised of players and coaches from the top amateur teams in the country.

College coaches took over the job starting with Cal's Pete Newell in 1960 until 1992, when Chuck Daly, then coach of the Detroit Pistons, led the first squad of professionals -- the first "Dream Team" -- to Gold in Barcelona.

Mike Krzyzewski was the first college coach to lead a team of professionals in the Olympics.

The list is composed of year, coach, coach's team of origin, the medal won by Team USA that year.

  • 1936, James Needles, Universal Pictures, Gold
  • 1948, Omar Browning, Phillips 66ers, Gold
  • 1952, Warren Womble, Peoria Caterpillar, Gold
  • 1956, Gerald Tucker, Phillips 66ers, Gold
  • 1960, Pete Newell, California, Gold
  • 1964, Hank Iba, Oklahoma State, Gold
  • 1968, Hank Iba, Oklahoma State, Gold
  • 1972, Hank Iba, Oklahoma State, Silver
  • 1976, Dean Smith, North Carolina, Gold
  • 1984, Bob Knight, Indiana, Gold
  • 1988, John Thompson, Georgetown, Bronze
  • 1992, Chuck Daly, Detroit Pistons, Gold
  • 1996, Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta Hawks, Gold
  • 2000, Rudy Tomjanovich, Houston Rockets, Gold
  • 2004, Larry Brown, Detroit Pistons, Bronze
  • 2008, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, Gold
  • 2012, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, Gold
  • 2016, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, Gold