Steve Clifford

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Head Coach, Charlotte Hornets

    Sports - Basketball
    Sports - Coaches
    Team Building

    Steve Clifford: Biography at a Glance

    • Steve Clifford is the Head Coach of the Charlotte Hornets, bringing more than 30 years of coaching experience at the NBA and collegiate level.
    • With the Charlotte Hornets, Clifford was named Coach of the Month twice in his career and became the first in franchise history to win multiple times.
    • He previously served as Head Coach of the Orlando Magic, where he led them to the NBA playoffs in his first year.
    • Clifford is a sought-after speaker on leadership, team building, and motivating a team. 


    Steve Clifford is the Head Coach of the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA. 

    Clifford rejoined the Hornets after three seasons with the Orlando Magic. He brings more than 30 years of coaching experience at the NBA and collegiate level, including helping lead the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals as an assistant coach.

    Clifford has compiled a regular season record of 238-254 (.484). He recorded his 200th career NBA regular season coaching victory on Nov. 5, 2018 vs. Cleveland. During his first season at the helm of the Magic (2018-19), Clifford guided Orlando to a 42-40 record (.512), a 17-win improvement, which was the largest turnaround in the NBA and the second-biggest improvement in franchise history. The Magic clinched a berth into the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2012 and captured the Southeast Division title, the franchise’s first since 2009-10.

    Clifford returned to Orlando after spending the previous five seasons (2013-18) as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. He was named Charlotte’s head coach on May 29, 2013 and compiled a record of 196-214 (.478) during that span. Clifford led Charlotte to the NBA Playoffs in two of his first four seasons at the helm after the team qualified for the postseason just once in the previous 10 seasons.

    During Clifford’s first season in Charlotte (2013-14), the team saw a 22-win improvement from the previous season, finishing 43-39 and earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2009-10. In 2015-16, the Hornets went 48-34, their best record since 1999-2000. Charlotte again made the NBA Playoffs, eventually falling in seven games to third-seeded Miami.

    Prior to the NBA, Clifford spent 15 years coaching at the collegiate level, including four years as head coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York from 1995-99. He posted a record of 86-36 (.705) at Adelphi, leading the school to four straight 20-win seasons, becoming the first coach in school history to record consecutive 20-win campaigns, and four straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. His winning percentage remains the second-best of the 12 head coaches in the program’s 65-year history.

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