Head Coach, Charlotte Hornets
National Advisory Board
Steve Clifford was named head coach of the Charlotte Hornets on May 29, 2013, becoming the sixth head coach in franchise history. Clifford brings 28 years of coaching experience at the NBA and collegiate level to Charlotte, including spending the previous 13 seasons as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.
Clifford joins the Hornets after spending the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach for the Lakers, first under Mike Brown and then under Mike D’Antoni. Prior to the Lakers, Clifford spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Magic from 2007-12. As a member of Stan Van Gundy’s staff, he helped the Magic to a 259-135 record (.657) and five straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals. The team won 50 games or more in four straight seasons from 2007-11, winning three consecutive Southeast Division titles (2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10).
Before going to Orlando, Clifford spent four seasons as an assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy with the Rockets from 2003-07. He began his NBA career with the Knicks, serving as the team’s advance scout in 2000-01 before moving to the bench as an assistant coach from 2001-03.
Prior to the NBA, Clifford spent 15 years coaching at the collegiate level, including four years as head coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Clifford posted a record of 86-36 (.705) at Adelphi, leading the school to four straight 20-win seasons and four straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. His winning percentage remains the second best of the 12 head coaches in the program’s 65-year history.
Clifford began his college coaching career at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, where he spent four seasons as an assistant coach. He then served as an assistant coach for one year at Fairfield University, four seasons at Boston University and one season at Siena University before becoming the head coach at Adelphi from 1995-99. Clifford also spent one season as an assistant coach at East Carolina University in 1999-2000 before moving to the NBA.
Clifford’s first coaching experience came at Woodland High School in Maine, where he coached for two seasons after graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in special education. He played four years for the Beavers, being named Best Defensive Player in his final two seasons while serving as team captain.