Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich 3rd Ever to Win Coach of the Year 3 Times

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffApril 22, 2014

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sits with the Red Auerbach trophy during a news conference after he was named NBA basketball coach of the year, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in San Antonio. Popovich has won the award three times. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay

According to the Associated Press (h/t USA Today), San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was named the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year on Tuesday, winning the award for the third time in his career.

In doing so, ESPN Stats & Info noted that Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only three-time winners of the award.

The Spurs earned the best record in the league this season, finishing 62-20 and earning the top overall seed in the playoffs. It was the fourth time that Popovich led the Spurs to a 60-win season, as he also did so in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2010-11.

Popovich's first Coach of the Year honor came after the 2002-03 season, when the Spurs defeated the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals.

If the Spurs are able to capture the title again this year, ESPN Stats & Info indicates that Popovich will become the first coach in NBA history to win a championship and the Coach of the Year award in the same season multiple times.

Since taking over for Bob Hill 18 games into the 1996-97 campaign, Popovich has gone on to coach 1,410 regular-season games, plus an additional 217 playoff games.

After going 17-47 in his initial season on the bench, Popovich has never finished with a winning percentage below 61 percent, while finishing higher than 70 percent 11 times.

He has been at his best over the last four years, winning 74 percent of his regular-season games over that span, while making it to the NBA Finals last season.