Gregg Popovich sets NBA record for most wins as a head coach

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Gregg Popovich sets NBA record for most wins as a head coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Gregg Popovich has passed his former boss in the record books.

The San Antonio Spurs head coach became the winningest coach in NBA history with his team’s 104-102 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday. He came into the game tied with Don Nelson at 1,335 career wins.

The Spurs trailed 81-66 with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Popovich’s squad quickly turned things around, ending the game on a 38-21 run to pull out the historic victory.

After serving as a Spurs assistant for five seasons, Popovich joined Nelson’s staff with the Golden State Warriors in 1992. Popovich returned to San Antonio in 1994 and following two seasons in the front office, he transitioned to the sideline and began a legendary head coaching career.

Popovich and the Spurs consistently piled up wins for over two decades after he named himself head coach during the 1996-97 season. Along with 1,336 regular-season victories, San Antonio won 170 playoff games and five NBA titles. The team finished every season above .500 from 1997-98 to 2018-19.

Popovich’s coaching prowess extended abroad during his record-breaking Spurs run. He took over for Mike Krzyzewski as head coach for Team USA following the 2016 Rio Olympics and coached the team to a gold-medal win at the Tokyo Olympics. Steve Kerr was named Popovich’s Team USA successor in December.

San Antonio has some work to do to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The team currently sits at 26-41 and is the No. 12 seed, one game back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference with a month remaining in the NBA regular season.