PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams has been voted ‘Coach of the Year’ by the National Basketball Coaches Association.
The news was announced by the NBCA on Tuesday.
The winners are chosen through votes from other head coaches of the NBA.
“The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year 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,” the NBCA says.
Williams ultimately received the honor, but several other coaches were nominated as well, including Scott Brooks, Michael Malone, Nate McMillan, Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder and Tom Thibodeau.
NBCA notes that Williams led the Suns to a 51-21 season with impressive records for the Suns throughout the season.
Their winning percentage, .708, is among the best in franchise history, NBCA says, and the team finished the regular season second in the Western Conference.
“I am overjoyed to receive the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the National Basketball Coaches Association,” Williams said. “I hold the utmost respect and admiration for the coaches in this league, so to be recognized by my peers is an incredible honor. Every coach in our league sacrifices a ton to make their teams and organizations better, so this is unbelievably humbling.
"To be recognized in Mr. Goldberg’s honor is special. He had a unique and kind manner, and cared for all of the coaches deeply. His suspenders and bow ties were always on point.
“I am overjoyed to receive the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the National Basketball Coaches Association, I hold the utmost respect and admiration for the coaches in this league, so to be recognized by my peers is an incredible honor.”— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 18, 2021
Congrats, Coach! pic.twitter.com/5m3YAzcgmN
"This award is far bigger than myself and is a result of the work put in everyday by our players, coaching staff, and the entire Suns organization under the leadership of James Jones and Robert Sarver. This has been a unique year in its challenges, and I am grateful for the tremendous spirit with which our players and staff have approached each day to make this a special season – Everything Counts!
"In reference to my life and career, God knocks the ball out of the park and I get to run the bases. It is a blessing and a privilege to be able to coach this team, alongside this staff, for this organization – it is a get to, not a got to.
"To our players and staff, I am so grateful for each one of you. I am blessed to work with you all daily. You truly have made me a better man.”
Williams, who started with the team in 2019, became the Suns' fifth head coach since 2016. The Suns fired Jeff Hornacek in early 2016 and Earl Watson in 2017. Jay Triano was the Suns' interim coach for most of the 2017-18 season. On April 22, the Suns fired head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season.