Sports

The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked 

Ranker NBA
Updated December 21, 2019 614 votes 87 voters 1.7k views 29 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest leaders on the court.

Everything's bigger and bolder in New York City - and that includes the sports franchises. Just take the New York Knicks, whose coaching staff is almost as storied as the basketball players themselves. The top Knicks coaches come in many forms. Some great leaders prioritized defense, while other former Knicks head coaches developed genius offensive plays. Many of the best New York Knicks coaches once played professionally themselves.

Who will you find on this list of famous New York Knicks head coaches? Pat Riley coached the Knicks from 1991-1995, leading them to the finals, but never receiving a championship in New York. He left the Knicks to become the coach of the Miami Heat. Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Rick Pitino was the head coach of the New York Knicks from 1987-1989. Other good Knicks coaches include Red Holzman, Don Nelson, and Kurt Rambis.

Do you have a favorite New York Knicks coach? Give the best team leaders a thumbs up, vote down the coaches you consider the worst, and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by
1
Red Holzman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 78 (1920-1998)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Teams: Rochester Royals, Milwaukee Hawks

2
Jeff Van Gundy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 57

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Hemet, California

3
Pat Riley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Pat Riley Age: 74

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Rome, New York, United States of America

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns

More Pat Riley 

The Best Pat Riley Quotes #377 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

4
Mike Woodson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 61

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana

Teams: New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, + more

5
Mike D'Antoni is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Mike D'Antoni Age: 66
6
Hubie Brown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 86

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Hazleton, Pennsylvania

7
Rick Pitino is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 67

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

8
Don Nelson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Don Nelson Age: 79

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Muskegon, Michigan

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards

9
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 82

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle Supersonics, Seattle Supersonics, St. Louis Hawks

More Lenny Wilkens 

#541 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,259 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #59 of 151 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

10
Willis Reed is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 77

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Hico, Louisiana, United States of America

Teams: New York Knicks, New York Knicks

More Willis Reed 

#76 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,490 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #16 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

11
Herb Williams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 61

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio

Teams: New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors

More Herb Williams 

#112 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #12 of 33 The Greatest Ohio State Basketball Players of All Time #55 of 73 The Best Dallas Mavericks of All Time

12
Larry Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 79

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Teams: Denver Nuggets

More Larry Brown 

#612 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #42 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time #20 of 126 The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time

13
Joe Lapchick is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 70 (1900-1970)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Yonkers, New York

14
Dick McGuire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 84 (1926-2010)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Teams: New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons

More Dick McGuire 

#322 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #187 of 243 The Best White Players in NBA History #22 of 31 The Best Pistons Coaches of All Time, Ranked

15
John MacLeod is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 82

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New Albany, Indiana

16
Eddie Donovan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 79 (1922-2001)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey

17
Jeff Hornacek is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 56

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Elmhurst, Illinois

Teams: Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns

More Jeff Hornacek 

#119 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #37 of 151 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings #34 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

18
Don Chaney is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 73

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, St. Louis Hawks

More Don Chaney 

#282 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #52 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time #24 of 31 The Best Pistons Coaches of All Time, Ranked

19
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 58

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Teams: Detroit Pistons, Detroit Pistons

More Isiah Thomas 

#29 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,119 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 162 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

20
Derek Fisher is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 45

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, + more

More Derek Fisher 

#192 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #52 of 162 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History #16 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

21
David Fizdale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
dbzGG added Age: 45

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

22
Bob Hill is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Age: 71
23
Neil Cohalan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 62 (1906-1968)
24
Vince Boryla is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 89 (1927-2016)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: East Chicago, Indiana

Teams: New York Knicks

25
Carl Braun is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked
Dec. at 83 (1927-2010)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Teams: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks