Arizona Basketball

Kerr’s potential hire with Knicks can give Arizona Wildcats two leaders in major pro sports

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Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr

Terry Francona

Terry Francona

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The potential hire of Steve Kerr by the New York Knicks as their head coach would give the Arizona Wildcats two leaders of major pro teams and their first NBA coach.

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is the other former Wildcat athlete leading a pro franchise.

Arizona has never had a former player coach an NBA or NFL team. Francona and former Arizona player Brad Mills have managed at the major-league level.

A few former Wildcats are assistant coaches in the NFL, including Chuck Cecil (St. Louis defensive coordinator), David Fipp (Philadelphia special teams coordinator) and Brant Boyer (Indianapolis assistant special teams coach).

The following tabulation of coaches and managers in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, indicates where they competed in college.


California has the most former athletes as pro sports coaches or managers with four — Jason Kidd of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Ron Rivera of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Bryan Price (Cincinnati Reds skipper) and Bob Melvin (Oakland A’s manager).

If Kerr is hired by the Knicks, Arizona would become the eighth school to currently have at least two former players as a coach or manager at the highest level.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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