Monty Williams
Monty Williams (cropped).jpg
Williams at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game
Phoenix Suns
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1971-10-08) October 8, 1971 (age 50)
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolPotomac (Oxon Hill, Maryland)
CollegeNotre Dame (1989–1994)
NBA draft1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1994–2003
PositionSmall forward
Number2, 41, 3, 5
Coaching career2005–present
Career history
As player:
19941996New York Knicks
19961998San Antonio Spurs
1999Denver Nuggets
19992002Orlando Magic
2002–2003Philadelphia 76ers
As coach:
20052010Portland Trail Blazers (assistant)
20102015New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans
2015–2016Oklahoma City Thunder (associate HC)
2018–2019Philadelphia 76ers (assistant)
2019–presentPhoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:
Career NBA statistics
Points2,884 (6.3 ppg)
Rebounds1,296 (2.8 rpg)
Assists544 (1.2 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Monty Eli Williams (born October 8, 1971) is an American professional basketball coach and a former player and executive who is the head coach for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Williams played for five NBA teams during a playing career that spanned from 1994 to 2003. His NBA coaching career has included stints as an assistant coach, as an associate head coach, and as a head coach. Williams was the head coach for the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010 until 2015. He served as an assistant coach with the United States national team under Mike Krzyzewski, and he has worked as a vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. In May 2019, Williams was hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. In 2021, he led the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2022, when the Suns finished the regular season with a franchise-record 64 wins.

Playing career

As a 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) small forward from the University of Notre Dame, Williams was an honorable mention All-American, averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season.[1] Williams was an NBA first-round pick despite a pre-existing heart condition.[2] He was selected by the New York Knicks in the first round (24th overall) of the 1994 NBA draft.[3][4]

Williams played in nine NBA seasons from 1994 to 2003.[5] He played for the Knicks until 1996, when he was traded alongside Charles Smith to the San Antonio Spurs for Brad Lohaus, J.R. Reid and a future first round pick that became John Wallace. In 1999, he signed with the Denver Nuggets but was released within a month. The Orlando Magic claimed Williams off waivers and he stayed with the team until 2002, when he joined the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. In 2003, Williams was re-acquired by the Orlando Magic in a trade sending a conditional pick swap to Orlando. He was waived by the Magic three days later, effectively ending his basketball career. In his NBA career, Williams played in 456 games, scored a total of 2,884 points and averaged 6.3 points per game.[1] Chronic knee problems forced him into retirement in 2003.[6][7]

Coaching career

In spring 2005, Williams won an NBA championship as a coaching staff intern with the San Antonio Spurs. In fall 2005, Williams was hired by new head coach Nate McMillan as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers.[8]

On June 29, 2015, Williams became the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.[9] On June 1, 2016, it was announced that Williams would not return with the Thunder.[10]

On June 4, 2018, Brett Brown announced that Williams would join his staff in Philadelphia as the lead assistant coach, his first coaching job in two seasons.[11]

New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans

Williams with New Orleans in 2014
Williams with New Orleans in 2014

On June 7, 2010, Williams was offered a three-year contract to be the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets.[12] At the date of hiring, Williams became the youngest head coach in the NBA at 38 years old.[1] In his first season with the Hornets, the team finished with a 46–36 record and made the playoffs.[13] On August 18, 2012, Williams accepted a four-year contract extension from the Hornets (later renamed as the Pelicans).[14] On June 9, 2013, Williams accepted an assistant coach role with the U.S. national team, along with Jim Boeheim and Tom Thibodeau, for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The New Orleans Pelicans finished the 2014–15 season with a 45–37 record before losing to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. On May 12, 2015, Williams was let go after five seasons as head coach of the Pelicans, compiling a 173–221 regular season record and going 2–8 in the playoffs.[15]

Phoenix Suns

In May 2019, the Phoenix Suns announced they had signed Williams as the team's head coach on a five-year deal.[16][17][18] The Suns compiled a 26–39 record in his first season coaching them before the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Suns were later invited to the 2020 NBA Bubble in order to play eight seeding games, where Williams coached the Suns to an 8–0 record, improving their overall record that season to 34–39. Despite this, the Suns failed to qualify for the play-in tournament to enter the 2020 NBA playoffs.

On November 16, 2020, Williams reunited with star point guard Chris Paul after last coaching him back in 2011 when they were with the New Orleans Hornets.[19] After the conclusion of the 2020–21 season Williams was named NBCA Coach of the Year.[20] He also finished second in the NBA Coach of the Year voting behind Tom Thibodeau.[21] The Suns finished the season with a 51–21 record, clinching the division and the second seed in the Western Conference.[22][23] Williams coached the Suns to a first round series victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games, and a sweep of the Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals.[24] Williams then coached the Suns to a Western Conference Finals victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, advancing the Suns to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.[25] This is also the first Finals appearance for Williams in his coaching career.[26] Facing the Milwaukee Bucks, the Suns would lose in six games.[27]

On December 27, 2021, Williams was placed in the Suns COVID-19 protocol. On January 30, 2022, Williams was named as the Western Conference head coach for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game as a result of his team's NBA-best record at a league-best 40–9 record this season.[28] Williams and the Suns were the 1st team to clinch a playoff birth on the season with a 53-13 record.[29] The Suns finished the season with franchise record for wins, compiling 64 wins to 18 losses. Williams was selected for his second consecutive NBCA Coach of the Year award.[30] On March 9th , 2022 , Williams was named the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year leading the Suns to a franchise record in wins at 64-18 and the best record in the league after finishing 2nd the year prior in the voting . [31]

Executive career

In 2016, Williams became the vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs.[32] On June 26, 2017, while serving as vice president for the Spurs, Williams was selected as the winner of the Sager Strong Award during the first NBA Awards show.[33][34]

Personal life

On February 10, 2016, Williams' wife, Ingrid, died from injuries sustained from a car crash in Oklahoma City after her car was struck head-on by a vehicle that crossed lanes after losing control. The couple had five children together.[35]

Williams is a Christian.[36][37]

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New Orleans 2010–11 82 46 36 .561 3rd in Southwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
New Orleans 2011–12 66 21 45 .318 5th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2012–13 82 27 55 .329 5th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2013–14 82 34 48 .415 5th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2014–15 82 45 37 .549 5th in Southwest 4 0 4 .000 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 2019–20 73 34 39 .466 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2020–21 72 51 21 .708 1st in Pacific 22 14 8 .636 Lost in NBA Finals
Phoenix 2021–22 82 64 18 .780 1st in Pacific 13 7 6 .538 Lost in Conference Semifinals
Career 610 322 299 .519   45 23 22 .511  


  1. ^ a b c " Monty Williams". Archived from the original on December 11, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Smith, Cort (May 3, 2019). "Monty Williams, Suns' New Coach: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".
  3. ^ "Suns Agree to Terms with Monty Williams to Become New Head Coach". Phoenix Suns.
  4. ^ "New York Knicks NBA Draft History: 1994". May 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "Thunder assistant Monty Williams' wife killed in car wreck". USA TODAY.
  6. ^ "MONTY WILLIAMS". November 1, 2010.
  7. ^ Jan 8, FOX Sports North; ET, 2019 at 12:25p. "Potential candidates to be next Timberwolves head coach". FOX Sports.
  8. ^ "Portland Trail Blazers News Headlines". Portland Trail Blazers. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  9. ^ "Thunder Announces Coaching Staff". June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  10. ^ Reid, John (June 1, 2016). "Monty Williams not returning to Thunder as assistant coach". Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (June 4, 2018). "Monty Williams to return to coaching, become 76ers lead assistant". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "Blazers assistant Monty Williams is offered head coaching position by New Orleans". The Oregonian. June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  13. ^ "2010-11 New Orleans Hornets Schedule and Results". Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams gets four-year contract extension". August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  15. ^ "Pelicans fire coach Williams after 5 seasons". 12 May 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Suns hire 76ers assistant Williams as coach". ESPN. May 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Suns agree to terms with Monty Williams to become new head coach". Phoenix Suns. May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Marshall, John (May 4, 2019). "Williams agrees to deal to become Suns coach". The Associated Press. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "Phoenix Suns complete trade to acquire Chris Paul from Oklahoma City Thunder". ESPN. November 16, 2020.
  20. ^ "Suns' Monty Williams receives NBCA Coach of the Year honors". May 18, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  21. ^ "New York's Tom Thibodeau wins 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year award". June 7, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  22. ^ "Suns beat Clippers, clinch first playoff spot in 11 years". April 28, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  23. ^ King, Dave (May 23, 2021). "Suns-Lakers Preview, Game One: Could come down to Devin Booker". Bright Side Of The Sun. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  24. ^ Cacciola, Scott (June 4, 2021). "Lakers Eliminated from Playoffs With Game 6 Loss to Suns". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  25. ^ Baer, Jack (June 30, 2021). "NBA playoffs: Chris Paul's 41 points put away Clippers, Suns advance to first NBA Finals since 1993". Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  26. ^ "Monty Williams". June 30, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  27. ^ "Emotional Monty Williams visits Bucks' locker room after Finals loss: 'I wanted it so bad'". Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  28. ^ "SUNS COACHING STAFF TO COACH TEAM LEBRON IN 2022 NBA ALL-STAR GAME". Phoenix Suns. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  29. ^ "Phoenix Suns 1st NBA team to clinch 2022 playoff berth after win vs. Heat". Arizona Sports. 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  30. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian [@wojespn] (April 12, 2022). "ESPN Sources: The Phoenix Suns' Monty Williams - architect of the NBA's best regular-season team - has been voted the National Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year for a second consecutive time:" (Tweet). Retrieved May 11, 2022 – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "Monty Williams of Phoenix Suns wins 2021-22 Coach of the Year award". Retrieved 2022-05-11.
  32. ^ "Spurs hire ex-OKC assistant Williams as VP". September 16, 2016.
  33. ^ "Monty Williams receives inaugural Craig Sager Strong Award |".
  34. ^ Diaz, Hector (June 26, 2017). "An emotional Monty Williams accepts the 1st-ever Sager Strong Award".
  35. ^ "Ex-Pelicans coach Monty Williams' wife dies in automobile accident". February 2016.
  36. ^ Rankin, Duane. "Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams delivers medicines, warmth to Paul Westphal's family". The Arizona Republic.
  37. ^ Evans, Kelley D. (December 9, 2018). "Sixers assistant coach Monty Williams: 'God makes me look much better than I deserve'".