Igor Kokoškov

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Igor Kokoškov
Igor Kokoškov 2017.jpg
Phoenix Suns
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1971-12-17) December 17, 1971 (age 46)
Banatski Brestovac, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian / American
Listed height1.94 m (6 ft 4 12 in)
Career information
CollegeUniversity of Belgrade
Coaching career1992–present
Career history
As coach:
1992–1994OKK Beograd (youth)
1994–1995OKK Beograd (assistant)
1995–1996OKK Beograd
1996–1997Partizan (youth)
1999–2000Missouri (assistant)
20002003Los Angeles Clippers (assistant)
20032008Detroit Pistons (assistant)
2004–2005Serbia and Montenegro (assistant)
20082013Phoenix Suns (assistant)
20132014Cleveland Cavaliers (assistant)
2015Orlando Magic (assistant)
20152018Utah Jazz (assistant)
2018–presentPhoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
As assistant coach

Igor Stefan Kokoškov (/kəˈkɒskɒv/ kə-KOS-kov;[1] Serbian Cyrillic: Игор Стефан Кокошков; born 17 December 1971) is a Serbian-American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously spent 18 years in the league as an assistant coach, with his most recent tenure there being with the Utah Jazz.

When he was a full-time assistant coach, Kokoškov is the first European to hold such position in NCAA Division I college basketball, and the first non-American to hold such position in the NBA.[2] In 2004, he became the first non-American assistant coach to win an NBA championship, and the first to serve on an NBA All-Star Game coaching staff.[3] He is also the first coach born and raised outside of North America to be hired as a head coach in the NBA.

He won EuroBasket 2017, while working as the head coach of the senior Slovenian men's national team. Also, he holds the American citizenship as of 2010.

Coaching career[edit]

Kokoškov, a graduate of the University of Belgrade, coached various club teams in Belgrade, and was on the coaching staff of the Yugoslav men's and junior national teams. At the age of 24, Kokoškov became the youngest coach in Yugoslavian basketball history, shortly after suffering serious injuries sustained during an automobile accident, which ended a promising basketball playing career.

His savvy, ambitious nature, and command of the English language were factors when he was hired by the University of Missouri's Tigers, as a part of their full-time coaching staff in 1999, making him the first European to hold such a position in NCAA Division I men's college basketball.[2]

NBA assistant (2000–2018)[edit]

In 2000, Kokoškov became the first non-American to be hired as a full-time assistant coach in the NBA, by the Los Angeles Clippers, under head coach Alvin Gentry.[2] In 2003, he joined the Detroit Pistons staff of head coach Larry Brown. He won an NBA championship in 2004 with the Pistons. At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game he serve on the Eastern Conference coaching staff.

On 20 June 2008, Kokoškov was named an assistant coach of the Phoenix Suns.[4] On 29 May 2013, Kokoškov was named as assistant coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.[5] On 17 February 2015, Kokoškov was named as assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, until the end of the season.[2]

On 1 July 2015, Kokoškov was hired by the Utah Jazz to be an assistant coach.[3] On 5 December 2016, Kokoškov led Utah to a win over Los Angeles Lakers, 107–101.[6] Jazz head coach Quin Snyder had fallen ill and missed their game against the Lakers.[7] He would remain assistant coach for the Jazz until their run in the 2018 NBA Playoffs concluded, which ended on 8 May 2018 with a 112–102 loss to the Houston Rockets.[8]

Phoenix Suns (2018–present)[edit]

On 2 May 2018, Kokoškov was hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, returning to the team he was previously with from 2008 to 2013. He will be the first head coach born and raised outside of North America in NBA history.[8] He officially took on the role on 14 May 2018.[9] In his official head coaching debut in the NBA on 17 October 2018, Kokoškov led the Suns to a 121–100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.[10]

National team coaching career[edit]

Serbia and Montenegro (2004–2005)[edit]

Kokoškov was an assistant coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national team at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2005 EuroBasket, under renowned European head coach Željko Obradović.[2][4]

Georgia (2008–2015)[edit]

On 18 April 2008, Kokoškov was named the head coach of the Georgia men's national basketball team. He coached Georgia at 2011 EuroBasket in Lithuania, 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia and 2015 EuroBasket in Croatia/France. He left after EuroBasket 2015.

Slovenia (2016–2017)[edit]

On 18 January 2016, the Basketball Federation of Slovenia named Kokoškov the new head coach of the Slovenian men's national team, for the next two years.[11] Former Serbian coach Božidar Maljković recommended him for this position to Slovenian Federation Secretary-General Rasho Nesterović.[12]

He left after EuroBasket 2017 after he won the gold medal with Slovenia.

Personal life[edit]

Kokoškov and his wife, Patricia, were married in the summer of 2009. They have two children: a son and a daughter.[2] On 18 June 2010, Kokoškov became an American citizen.[13]

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili honored Kokoškov with an Order of Honour, Georgia’s highest civilian honor, on 18 December 2011.[2][14]

Head coaching record[edit]

National teams[edit]

Year National Team Tournament Standing Pld W L
2009 Georgia EuroBasket Div. B 1st 10 9 1
2010 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 2nd 8 5 3
2011 Georgia EuroBasket 11th 8 2 6
2012 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 2nd 8 6 2
2013 Georgia EuroBasket 17th 5 1 4
2014 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 1st 6 4 2
2015 Georgia EuroBasket 15th 6 2 4
2016 Slovenia EuroBasket Qualification 1st 6 6 0
2017 Slovenia EuroBasket Gold medal icon.svg 9 9 0
EuroBasket 5/5 34 20 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.nba.com/article/2018/05/02/phoenix-suns-hire-igor-kokoskov-official-release
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Magic Name Igor Kokoskov Assistant Coach
  3. ^ a b "Jazz Announce Basketball Staff Additions". NBA.com. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b Suns Complete Coaching Staff
  5. ^ Cleveland Cavaliers hire Phoenix assistant Igor Kokoskov
  6. ^ "Utah Jazz: With Snyder ill, Igor Kokoskov coaches Jazz to win over Lakers". The Salt Lake Tribune. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Jazz coach Quin Snyder misses game vs. Lakers". NBA.com. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Suns Agree to Terms with Igor Kokoškov To Become New Head Coach". NBA.com. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Igor Kokoskov takes aim at resurrecting Suns franchise". ESPN.com. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Booker's late onslaught lifts Suns past Mavs 121-100". ESPN.com. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Moško člansko reprezentanco bo vodil Igor Kokoškov". kzs.si. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  12. ^ "KAD MALJKOVIĆ PREPORUČI, ISTORIJA KOŠARKE SE MENJA "Uzmite Kokoškova i nećete pogrešiti"". sport.blic.rs. Retrieved 5 May 2018. (in Serbian)
  13. ^ Pollack, Seth (18 June 2010). "Coach Igor Kokoskov Becomes U.S. Citizen In Heartfelt, Slightly Goofy Ceremony". SB Nation Arizona. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  14. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]