TORONTO – Former UK basketball player and assistant coach Dwane Casey was named the Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year on Wednesday, May 9 after guiding the Toronto Raptors to the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference this season.
Casey (pictured with UK teammate Truman Claytor in 1977) was tabbed the NBA’s best in a vote by the league’s 30 head coaches after the regular season. The award recognizes the dedication, commitment and hard work of NBA head coaches and is presented annually to a head coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court. It honors the spirit of Michael H. Goldberg, the longtime NBCA executive director “who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation and tireless promotion of NBA coaching.”
“To be honored by your peers is incredibly gratifying, and I am so thankful to my colleagues across the league for this recognition,” Casey said in a release. “I’m also grateful to the talented and dedicated coaching staff I work with every day in Toronto. To be recognized with an award that bears Michael H. Goldberg’s name is very special.”
The NBCA Coach of the Year is separate of the NBA Coach of the Year. The NBA will announce the winner of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA Coach of the Year on June 25 at the NBA Awards Show.
A member of the 1978 Kentucky national championship team, Casey lettered at UK from 1976-79. He also served as a graduate assistant in 1980 and an assistant coach during the 1987-89 seasons.
In his seventh season as head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Casey guided Toronto to a 59-23 record and the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Raptors fell to the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers this past week in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Raptors’ franchise leader in career wins, Casey has guided Toronto to four Atlantic Division titles in the last five seasons. This past season he became the first coach in franchise history to coach in the NBA All-Star Game.
Casey has enjoyed a long and successful professional coaching career since his time at Kentucky. He’s won more than 300 games with Toronto, led the Minnesota Timberwolves as head coach from 2006-07, served as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks and Seattle SuperSonics, and has coached internationally.
UK Athletics Photo