Chuck Daly

Chuck Daly

Daly in 2006
Personal information
Born (1930-07-20)July 20, 1930
St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Died May 9, 2009(2009-05-09) (aged 78)
Jupiter, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Kane (Kane, Pennsylvania)
College Bloomsburg (1950–1952)
Coaching career 1955–1999
Career history
As coach:
1955–1963 Punxsutawney HS
1963–1969 Duke (assistant)
1969–1971 Boston College
1971–1977 Penn
1978–1981 Philadelphia 76ers (assistant)
19811982 Cleveland Cavaliers
19831992 Detroit Pistons
19921994 New Jersey Nets
19971999 Orlando Magic
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Charles Jerome "Chuck" Daly (July 20, 1930 – May 9, 2009) was an American basketball head coach. He led the Detroit Pistons to consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) Championships in 1989 and 1990, and the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team") to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.[1]

Daly is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, being inducted in 1994 for his individual coaching career,[2] and in 2010 was posthumously inducted as the head coach of the "Dream Team".[3] The Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award is named after him.[4]

Early life

Born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, to Earl and Geraldine Daly on July 20, 1930, Daly attended Kane Area High School in nearby Kane. He matriculated at St. Bonaventure University for one year before transferring to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1952.[5] After serving two years in the military, he began his basketball coaching career in 1955 at Punxsutawney Area High School in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.[1]

College career

After compiling a 111–70 record in eight seasons[5] at Punxsutawney High School, Daly moved on to the college level in 1963 as an assistant coach under Vic Bubas at Duke University. During his six seasons at Duke, the Blue Devils won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and advanced to the Final Four, both in 1964 and 1966.[6] Daly then replaced Bob Cousy as head coach at Boston College in 1969. The Eagles recorded an 11–13 record in Daly's first year at the school, and improved to 15–11 in 1971.[7]

Daly became the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, succeeding Dick Harter. Penn won twenty or more games and captured the Ivy League title in each of its first four seasons with Daly at the helm.[8] The most successful campaign was his first in 1972, when the Quakers recorded a 25–3 record overall (13–1 in their conference), and advanced to the NCAA East Regional Final, eventually losing to North Carolina.[9] An additional significant success for Daly was in 1979, when all five starters on Pennsylvania's Final Four team had initially been recruited by Daly.[8] His overall record after six seasons at Penn was 125–38 (74–10 within the Ivy League).

NBA and national team career

In 1978, Daly joined the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant coach. During the 1981 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired him as the third head coach that season, but was fired with a 9-32 record before the season ended. [10] He then returned to the 76ers as a broadcaster until he was hired in 1983 by the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons, a club that had never recorded back-to-back winning seasons before Daly's tenure, made the NBA playoffs each year he was head coach (1983–1992), as well as reaching the NBA finals three times, winning two consecutive NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. While serving as the Pistons coach, Daly was also a color commentator for TBS's NBA Playoff coverage.

Daly was named head coach of the U.S. Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics,[3] before moving his NBA career onto the New Jersey Nets for the 1992-93 NBA season. Daly stayed with the Nets for two seasons, before his first retirement.

Daly again took up a role as color commentator for TNT's NBA coverage during the mid-1990s before coming out of retirement to coach the Orlando Magic at the beginning of the 1997-98 season. Daly stayed two seasons with the Magic and then retired permanently.


Daly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2009 and died on May 9, 2009, at the age of 78.[1] He is survived by his wife Terry and their daughter Cydney. He is buried at Riverside Memorial Park in Tequesta, Florida.[11]

Head coaching record


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Boston College Eagles (NCAA University Division independent) (1969–1971)
1969–70 Boston College 11–13
1970–71 Boston College 15–11
Boston College: 26–24
Penn Quakers (Ivy League) (1971–1977)
1971–72 Penn 25–3 13–1 1st NCAA Third Round
1972–73 Penn 21–7 12–2 1st NCAA Third Round
1973–74 Penn 21–6 13–1 1st NCAA First Round
1974–75 Penn 23–5 13–1 1st NCAA First Round
1975–76 Penn 17–9 11–3 2nd
1976–77 Penn 18–8 12–2 2nd
Penn: 125–38 74–10
Total: 151–62

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L WL% Finish PG PW PL PWL% Result
Cleveland 1981–82 41932.220(fired)
Detroit 1983–84 824933.5982nd in Central523.400 Lost in First Round
Detroit 1984–85 824636.5612nd in Central954.566 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Detroit 1985–86 824636.5613rd in Central413.250 Lost in First Round
Detroit 1986–87 825230.6342nd in Central15105.667 Lost in Conf. Finals
Detroit 1987–88 825428.6591st in Central23149.609 Lost in NBA Finals
Detroit 1988–89 826319.7681st in Central17152.882 Won NBA Championship
Detroit 1989–90 825923.7201st in Central20155.750 Won NBA Championship
Detroit 1990–91 825032.6102nd in Central1578.467 Lost in Conf. Finals
Detroit 1991–92 824834.5853rd in Central523.400 Lost in First Round
New Jersey 1992–93 824339.5243rd in Atlantic523.400 Lost in First Round
New Jersey 1993–94 824537.5493rd in Atlantic413.250 Lost in First Round
Orlando 1997–98 824141.5005th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
Orlando 1998–99 503317.6601st in Atlantic413.250 Lost in First Round
Career 1075638437.593 1267551.595


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