NEW YORK, May 25, 2012 – The New York Knickerbockers announced today that Head Coach Mike Woodson has been given a multi-year contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Mike took over the team under challenging circumstances and made it clear, starting on day one, that he was going to hold every player on our roster accountable,” said James Dolan, Executive Chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company. “We saw a significant improvement since Mike took over and believe our team will only keep improving under Mike’s direction.”
Woodson, who had served as New York’s interim head coach since Mar. 14, 2012, guided the Knicks to an 18-6 regular-season mark and the franchise’s second consecutive playoff berth. Over the last 24 games of the regular season, the Knicks posted the second-best record in the NBA and the team’s defense ranked fifth in the NBA in points allowed (91.8) and eighth in opponents’ field goal percentage (.440). Woodson became the first head coach in franchise history to win his first five games and posted the second-best winning percentage ever by an NBA coach who took over a team midseason.
“Mike has the respect of every person in this organization,” Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald said. “He and his staff led the team in an impressive push into the playoffs over the last 24 games and we believe he is the right man to lead the franchise as we move forward.”
“I’m very humbled and honored to continue coaching the franchise where I started my NBA career,” Woodson said. “Our goal is to build off the success we had at the end of last season and to continue our quest of bringing an NBA Championship to Madison Square Garden.”
Woodson joined the organization as an assistant coach on Aug. 29, 2011 after six seasons as the head coach of Atlanta (2004-05 through 2009-10). He improved the Hawks win-loss record in each of those seasons, leading the franchise to the postseason in each of his final three years. Previously, he served eight seasons as an assistant coach with Milwaukee (1996-97 through 1998-99), Cleveland (1999-2000 through 2000-01), Philadelphia (2001-02 through 2002-03) and the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons (2003-04).
He enjoyed an 11-year NBA playing career, averaging 14.0 points over 786 games with New York (1980-81), New Jersey (1981-82), Kansas City/Sacramento (1981-82 through 1985-86), L.A. Clippers (1986-87 through 1987-88), Houston (1988-89 through 1990-91) and Cleveland (1990-91). He was originally selected by the Knicks in the first round (12th overall) in the 1980 NBA Draft.