Former Pomona-Pitzer coach Gregg Popovich leads San Antonio Spurs to Third NBA Championship.
The San Antonio Spurs tonight locked up their third NBA Championship under the leadership of Coach Gregg Popovich, beating the Detroit Pistons 81-74 in the last game of the finals.
During the series, Popovich's experience as Pomona-Pitzer's coach was the subject of sports section columns by the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke and the Orange County Register's Mark Whicker.
"To the rest of the world, Gregg Popovich is the white-haired Red, the fox in the Zenhouse, the guy who has quietly become the NBA's best coach, of its best team," Plaschke writes in a column titled "The Value of Sagehen Wisdom." "To the guys at Pomona-Pitzer, he was a coach who lived in a dorm and worked out of a converted storage closet and drove the school van and directed … intramurals?"
Popovich coached Pomona-Pitzer men's basketball from 1979 to 1988, leading the team to its first outright title in 68 years. Then he jumped from Division III to the NBA, taking a job as an assistant coach at San Antonio. He took the Spur's top coaching job in 1994, but he still maintains close ties to Pomona-Pitzer hoops.
In the Register column, Popovich recalls loving every minute at Pomona-Pitzer, where he lived in the residence halls for a time. "I thought I would always be there," he told the paper.