Ships need captains, an army squadron needs a lieutenant and a basketball team needs a coach. Coaching is the less celebrated part of any sport, as the players usually get all the media attention, but it’s a job that someone has to do. The keyword Alvin Gentry is a former college basketball player who has chosen the less glamorous path and stands by his soldiers as a guide. Currently, he is the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Who is Alvin Gentry?
Alvin Gentry was born on November 5, 1954, in Shelby, North Carolina. The basketball coach attended Shelby High School before playing college basketball at Appalachian State University.
He worked in the private sector for a year before returning to the sport that would become his life’s work. Alvin became a full-time college assistant coach at Baylor University in 1980. After a year, he returned to the University of Colorado where he had previously spent a year as a graduate assistant. This time he returned as an assistant coach, a position he held for five years.
NBA & Coaching Career
Although Alvin Gentry has led four different NBA teams and is currently the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, his NBA coaching career began in 1989 in more modest roles as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
Alvin Gentry was part of a 4-person assistant coaching staff, and after two years in San Antonio, he moved to Los Angeles and became assistant coach of the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1990-91 season. He later became assistant coach to Miami Heat coach Kevin Loughery in the ’91 season, but his journey as an assistant coach did not end there, as after leaving Miami he moved to Detroit where he served as an assistant coach for two and a half seasons before being named head coach in the second half of the 1997-98 season.
Alvin’s first term as head coach did not last long. In the 1999-2000 season, he returned to San Antonio as Assistant Coach, in a small reunion with former assistants from his early days in San Antonio. It was only a brief reunion, however, as the Los Angeles Clippers offered him the position of head coach shortly after he took over the post in San Antonio.
He had two great first years in his position as head coach, leading the team to 31 wins in his first season and 39 wins in his second season. The team was characterized during these seasons by the solid play of young players like Elton Brand and Lamar Odom. However, in his third season, the team refused to keep him at the top, and Gentry was dismissed in February 2003.
Perhaps this was seen as a false start or a sign that he was not yet ready to take over the role of head coach completely. Nevertheless, Alvin Gentry took a step back and became an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns for six years, learning under different coaches. When Terry Porter was fired in his first year as head coach, Alvin was given the position on an interim basis. He was later appointed a full-time coach for the 2009-2010 season. His record as head coach in his first year was 54 wins and 28 losses, a personal career highlight. The Suns made it to the playoffs but lost to the Lakers after game six. However, he was the fifth coach in the history of the franchise to lead his team to a Western Conference final in his first full season.
Alvin Gentry parted ways with the Suns on January 18, 2013. He returned to the LA Clippers in July and took over the title of assistant head coach. After a year with the Clippers, he signed a three-year contract as assistant head coach for the Golden State Warriors.
Although Alvin later signed with the Pelicans on May 30, 2015, the contract allowed him to stay with the Golden State Warriors until the end of the series and win his first NBA championship by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Alvin Gentry met his wife Suzanne during his first assignment with the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. The couple has been married for many years and currently have two children, Ryan and Jack. Alvin, who was already married before he met Suzanne, has one daughter from this marriage. He and his family usually tend to withdraw from the media spotlight.
Height & Weight
As a man at the forefront of professional athletes, it is not surprising that Alvin Gentry is in top form. The man towers at 6 feet 7, but his weight is not currently listed. With a height like his, he certainly won’t be intimidated by his players.
After recently signing a four-year contract with the Pelicans worth $3.4 million per season along with his income over decades with several teams in the NBA, it is difficult to determine the exact net value of the Pelican coach. We understand, however, that his career and net worth are on a significantly increasing path.