Suns' Monty Williams named Coach of the Year by fellow coaches

The National Basketball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday that Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is the winner of its Coach of the Year Award.

The award named for late NBCA executive director Michael Goldberg is voted on by the NBA's 30 head coaches. Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Michael Malone, Nate McMillan, Doc Rivers and Quin Snyder also received votes. The NBCA didn't provide a complete breakdown of the voting. The NBA will announce the winner of its Coach of the Year award as voted on by media at a later date.

The Suns improved from 34-39 and a 10th-place finish in the West last season to 51-21 this season, good for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs behind the top-seeded Utah Jazz.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 04: Head Coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the game against the LA Clippers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Monty Williams peers awarded him the NBCA Coach of the Year Award. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Suns exceeded high expectations this season

Williams arrived in Phoenix in 2020, inheriting a team that finished 19-63 the year prior. Led by emerging young stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix qualified for the postseason play-in games in the NBA bubble last season.

The strong finish in the bubble and the offseason acquisition of Chris Paul led to high hopes for the Suns this season. But few predicted the ascension the Suns made in securing the league's second-best record while ranking in the top 10 in the league in offense (No. 7) and defense (No. 6).

“I hold the utmost respect and admiration for the coaches in this league, so to be recognized by my peers is an incredible honor," Williams said in a statement.

Williams, 49, has coached in the NBA since 2006 when he was an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers. Phoenix marks his second stint as a head coach after he coached the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010-15.

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