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Jeff Hornacek

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Title: Jeff Hornacek  
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Subject: 1991–92 Phoenix Suns season, Phoenix Suns, 2013–14 Phoenix Suns season, Iowa State Cyclones men's basketball, Utah Jazz
Collection: 1963 Births, American People of Czech Descent, Basketball Players from Illinois, Iowa State Cyclones Men's Basketball Players, Living People, National Basketball Association All-Stars, National Basketball Association Players with Retired Numbers, People from Elmhurst, Illinois, People from La Grange, Illinois, People from Paradise Valley, Arizona, Philadelphia 76Ers Players, Phoenix Suns Draft Picks, Phoenix Suns Head Coaches, Phoenix Suns Players, Shooting Guards, Sportspeople from the Chicago Metropolitan Area, Utah Jazz Assistant Coaches, Utah Jazz Players
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Jeff Hornacek

Jeff Hornacek
Jeff Hornacek, March 2013
Phoenix Suns
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1963-05-03) May 3, 1963
Elmhurst, Illinois
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school Lyons Township
(La Grange, Illinois)
College Iowa State (1982–1986)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Suns
Pro career 1986–2000
Position Shooting guard
Number 14
Coaching career 2011–present
Career history
As player:
19861992 Phoenix Suns
19921994 Philadelphia 76ers
1994–2000 Utah Jazz
As coach:
20112013 Utah Jazz (assistant)
2013–present Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 15,659 (14.5 ppg)
Steals 1,536 (1.4 spg)
3P% .403
Stats at

Jeffrey John Hornacek (; born May 3, 1963) is an American head coach for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He formerly played shooting guard in the NBA from 1986 through 2000.


  • Elementary and high school 1
  • College 2
  • NBA career 3
  • Retirement and coaching career 4
  • Head coaching record 5
  • Stats 6
  • Personal life 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Elementary and high school

He attended Komarek Elementary School in North Riverside, Illinois, and Gurrie Middle School and Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Cook County, Illinois.


Hornacek redshirted at Iowa State University (ISU) in 1981, he was a team walk-on who played from 1982–1986.[1] The son of a high school basketball coach, he became an all-conference player in the Big Eight Conference, playing for coach Johnny Orr. As a point guard he guided the Cyclones to the Sweet 16 of the 1986 NCAA tournament. His shining moment came at the Metrodome in Minneapolis when, after first hitting a shot to tie the game and send it to overtime, Jeff hit the game winning shot in overtime, a 26-ft jumper at the buzzer, to give ISU its first NCAA tournament victory since 1944, beating Miami University, March 14, 1986, 81–79. Two days later, he led the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament "Sweet Sixteen," in a 72–69 upset of second seed Michigan. Orr, who had previously left Michigan to coach at Iowa State, called it the greatest victory of his career. Hornacek left ISU with a Big-8 record of 665 career assists, still an Iowa State school record, and 1,313 career points. He was the fourth player in Cyclone basketball history to have his number retired when his No. 14 jersey was hung from the rafters of Hilton Coliseum in 1991.

NBA career

He was the 22nd pick in the second round (46th overall) of the 1986 NBA draft, by the Phoenix Suns. The 2nd round draft pick that was used to select him was traded three times before finally ending up with the Suns. First, the Los Angeles Lakers packaged it in the deal to acquire Byron Scott from the San Diego Clippers before the 1983–84 season. A week later, the Clippers sent the pick to the Detroit Pistons in a deal to acquire Ricky Pierce, and on that same day, the Pistons dealt the pick to the Suns for David Thirdkill.

The Suns struggled in Hornacek's first two seasons, but after hiring Cotton Fitzsimmons as coach and acquiring free agent Tom Chambers, the Suns went from 28 wins in 1987–88 to 55 in 1988–89. Hornacek was a perfect "third option" on offense after Chambers and Kevin Johnson. This trio led the Suns to four straight NBA playoff appearances, including two Western Conference Finals.

After his sixth and most productive season in 1991–92 in which he led the Suns in scoring average (20.1 ppg) and earned an All-Star appearance, Hornacek was traded (along with Andrew Lang and Tim Perry) to the Philadelphia 76ers for Charles Barkley. With Hersey Hawkins, the Sixers' leading scorer, in the shooting guard position, Hornacek was assigned point guard responsibilities. Although he had a career high 6.9 assists per game in his only complete season with the Sixers (1992–93 season), his stint as a point guard was not a success (26 wins, 56 losses). Midway through the 1993–94 season (February 24) he was traded to the Utah Jazz (for Jeff Malone) where he could return to his natural shooting guard position alongside John Stockton. Like in Phoenix, Hornacek was a perfect complementary "third option" to Karl Malone and Stockton. Hornacek was also one of the best on offense in the NBA in moving without the ball, something essential for a shooting guard. He was an instrumental part of the Jazz's drive to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, where the Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls both times. He remained with the Jazz until knee problems forced his retirement in 2000. It was revealed that he has no left meniscus due to wear and tear on his body, so bad that he could have needed knee reconstruction because it also is arthritic.[2]

On November 23, 1994, he set a then-NBA record with eight consecutive three-pointers in a single game without a miss against the Seattle SuperSonics. That same season, he also tied an NBA record 11 consecutive three-pointers without a miss, from December 30, 1994 through January 11, 1995. One of the best free throw shooters in the league, once making 67 in a row (November 12, 1999 – January 6, 2000), one of his most well-known mannerisms was stroking the side of his face three times before every free-throw attempt. That was his way of saying hello to his three children, Tyler, Ryan and Abigaile, during the game.[3] He holds a career free throw percentage of 87.7, 13th highest in NBA history.[4]

Hornacek won the NBA three-point competition twice, and along with Natalie Williams, star of the Utah Starzz, won the All-Star 2-Ball Challenge.

Retirement and coaching career

After the 1999–2000 season, Hornacek retired from basketball to spend more time with his family.[5] Hornacek's No. 14 jersey was retired by the Utah Jazz, for whom he played from 1994 to 2000, and helped get them to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. Coach Jerry Sloan and Jazz announcer "Hot Rod" Hundley referred to Hornacek affectionately as "Horny".[6]

He was hired for the 2007–08 season by the Jazz as a special assistant coach and to help Andrei Kirilenko and others with their shooting.[7][8] In May 2008 Hornacek interviewed for a coaching position with the Chicago Bulls, meeting with general manager John Paxson. He put off seeking a coaching position until his children were older so the extensive travel would not put excess pressure on his family.[8] After the departure of Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson in February 2011, Jeff Hornacek became a full assistant coach with the Utah Jazz.[9]

During 2013, Hornacek was considered a head coach candidate for two of his former teams, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, as well as the Charlotte Bobcats. On May 28, 2013, he was named the head coach of the Phoenix Suns.[10] Hornacek has stated that his coaching style is reminiscent to that of Cotton Fitzsimmons and Jerry Sloan, who both coached him back when he played for the coaches' respective teams. Hornacek also coached the Suns' Summer League team during the 2013 season in Las Vegas. In his first game as head coach at the Summer League, he helped lead the team to an 82-69 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns went on a six-game winning streak before ultimately losing in the inaugural championship round to the Golden State Warriors 91-77. Hornacek was 5-2 in pre-season and he started the 2013-14 NBA season with a 104-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and an 87-84 victory over the Utah Jazz, both times at home. Hornacek also became the team's first ever head coach to start out his coaching stint with a 4-0 record at home games.

Hornacek won the NBA Coach of the Month award in December 2013, his first coaching honor, after leading the Suns to a 10-3 record during the month. Hornacek also became the third former NBA player to win both Player of the Month and Coach of the Month awards (after Larry Bird and Larry Drew), and the first coach to receive both awards with the same team.[11] For the season, the Suns improved by 23 victories upon the previous season's record, which led to a 48-34 record in Hornacek's first season as a head coach. Despite the improvement, the Suns still missed the playoffs and Hornacek was the runner-up coach in the NBA Coach of the Year Award losing to three time winner Gregg Popovich.[12]

Head coaching record

Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Phoenix 2013–14 82 48 34 .585 3rd in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Phoenix 2014–15 82 39 43 .476 3rd in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Career 164 87 77 .530


  • Iowa State University records:
    • Career assists: 665
    • Career steals: 211
    • Career complete games: 30
    • Season assists: 219 (1985–1986; 2nd w/198 1983–1984)
    • Season, assists per-game average: 6.83 (1984; 2nd w/6.63 – 1986)
  • NBA Totals:
    • Games: 1,077
    • Minutes played: 33,959
    • Points: 15,659 (14.5 per game)
    • Assists: 5,281 (4.9 per game)
    • Steals: 1,536 (1.43 per game)

Personal life

Hornacek is of Czech descent.[13] He is the brother-in-law of Phoenix Suns athletic trainer Aaron Nelson.[14] When Joe Proski was the Suns' head athletic trainer, Hornacek recommended Nelson as an assistant for him.[15] His father John was a high school coach for basketball and baseball at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois.[16] Hornacek considers his father, alongside Cotton Fitzsimmons and Jerry Sloan, as an influence towards his coaching career.

See also


  1. ^ "Jeff Hornacek bio". NBA. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ Jeff Hornacek: Battle on Wounded Knee
  3. ^ "Changing teams: Hornacek will trade NBA for family". – CNN/Sports Illustrated. – ( – Wednesday, April 26, 2000.
  4. ^ "Career Leaders and Records for Free Throw %". – Basketball-Reference. – Retrieved on August 23, 2007
  5. ^ Robinson, Doug (May 18, 2000). "Gone, but never forgotten: Jeff Hornacek opens new chapter as full-time husband, dad". Deseret News. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ Jeff Hornacek. – NBA.
  7. ^ "Kirilenko plays best game of the season: Hornacek credited for big improvement in shooting prowess". – Deseret Morning News. – January 26, 2008. – Retrieved: June 16, 2008
  8. ^ a b Hanley, Brian. – "Hornacek was 'player-coach'". – Chicago Sun-Times. – May 26, 2008. – Retrieved: June 16, 2008
  9. ^ Brian T. Smith "Jazz's Hornacek officially joins Corbin's staff," Salt Lake Tribune February 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Suns Name Jeff Hornacek As Head Coach". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Phoenix Suns' Jeff Hornacek wins Western Conference Coach of the Month
  12. ^ "Spurs' Gregg Popovich named 2013-14 Coach of the Year". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  13. ^ Joan O'Brien. "Home court advantage". Salt Lake Tribune. May 25, 1997. J1.
  14. ^ Coro, Paul (May 17, 2013). "Hornacek agrees to terms, will be Suns new coach | Insiders". Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  15. ^ Coach Jeff Hornacek brings history back to Phoenix Suns franchise after team loses touch
  16. ^ Jeff Hornacek talks about his journey from La Grange to the NBA

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from
  • [2] Datos y curiosidades sobre Jeff Hornacek en espanol.
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