Jeff Van Gundy: Phoenix Suns’ Jeff Hornacek Deserves Coach of the Year

By Bill Simpson

Nov 24, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek reacts against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Phoenix Suns 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Current ESPN broadcaster and former head coach of the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks, Jeff Van Gundy, never won a Coach of the Year award.

But, like the rest of us, that doesn’t mean he still can’t make a prediction of this season’s winner.

In his most recent interview with me, Van Gundy proclaimed the head coach of the Phoenix Suns as the Coach of the Year:

To me, there are so many worthwhile candidates. Terry [Stotts] and [Jeff] Hornacek, Frank Vogel has done a great job. [Tom] Thibodeau in Chicago; [Steve] Clifford in Charlotte. There are so many guys who have done a good job. I think if I had to vote right now, and it’s more of a team award, the most surprising team has been Phoenix. We underestimated their level of talent, [and] it’s more of an underdog award.

He’s right, this season especially, there are a plethora of talented coaches who have exceeded their team’s expectations, and Van Gundy pretty much laid them all out.

It’ll be interesting to see if Hornacek wins Coach of the Year even if his team doesn’t make the playoffs.