Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats great Steve Kerr consulted Bill Parcells about coaching at highest level

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Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr

Bill Parcells

Bill Parcells

Former NFL coach Bill Parcells confirmed during an interview Monday morning on ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio show that Arizona basketball legend Steve Kerr sought his advice last year about coaching at the professional level.

“Well, you know when I was a young coach … there were some guys who took the time for me: Tom Landry, Chuck Knox, Chuck Noll and Al Davis, those kind of guys,” Parcells told Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. “So I made a promise to myself. I knew how good that made me feel that I would try to help any coach.”

Kerr is in line for the vacant New York Knicks head coaching job. He reportedly has met at least twice with team president Phil Jackson, Kerr’s head coach with the Chicago Bulls during his playing days.

Kerr’s name has also been mentioned with the Los Angeles Lakers opening and potentially with Golden State if the Warriors brass does not renew Mark Jackson’s contract.

Kerr has strong relationships with Warriors owner Joe Lacob, son Kirk Lacob (who works in Golden State’s front office) and Warriors president Rick Welts, with whom Kerr worked closely in Phoenix.


Parcells, 72, mentioned on the Mike and Mike Show that Kerr came to him almost a year ago for advice about coaching at a high level professionally. Parcells is a two-time Super Bowl winner as coach of the New York Giants. He also coached New England to the Super Bowl and the New York Jets to the AFC title game.

“Steve, a year ago, probably 11 months ago, asked me if he could come up to Saratoga (Springs, N.Y.), where I spend the summer, and talk,” Parcells, also a seven-year executive in the NFL, said during the radio interview. “And we sat down there probably for a couple of hours and just went back and forth and visited about the ins and outs of coaching.

“We had both been in broadcasting and coaching, and he’s been an administrator in the NBA (as the Suns’ general manager). So we had a lot of common ground to talk about.”

Kerr’s meeting with Parcells was set up by former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who is now Kerr’s agent. Tannenbaum is a close associate of Parcells’ with their background with the Jets.

“I found (Kerr) to be a very, very bright, kind of enterprising guy,” Parcells told Mike and Mike. “I think he wants to coach. I mean, he kind of indicated that to me. So it’s just finding the right spot now. I don’t know whether New York is it or not but if it is I wish him a lot of luck.”

Parcells first told the New York Daily News last week about his encounter with Kerr, who played for Lute Olson at Arizona and Jackson and Gregg Popovich with the NBA.

“He’s been around some very good coaches,” Parcells, a Hall of Famer, told the Daily News. “By osmosis, you get something.”

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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