Who are the youngest, oldest head coaches in the NBA?


There is plenty of variety among the 30 NBA head coaches. They bring an array of philosophies, strategies and backgrounds to their respective teams, but there is another glaring difference between coaches across the league: age.

Some coaches are younger than the players they are coaching. Others have been alive almost as long as the league itself. 

In the latest coaching cycle, franchises went in different directions as far as age and experience. The Utah Jazz decided to go younger, the Charlotte Hornets went with an experienced rehire and the Los Angeles Lakers brought in one of the most sought-after assistant coaches in the league to take their head job. The Boston Celtics also promoted Joe Mazzulla to interim head coach following their suspension of Ime Udoka.

With all 30 NBA head coaching positions filled, let’s look at the broad age gap:

Who is the youngest NBA head coach?

Mazulla and Will Hardy are currently the newest and youngest head coaches in the league.

Hardy, a former San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics assistant, took the head job with the Utah Jazz, replacing Quin Snyder. At 34 years old, Hardy moved past 37-year-old Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the title of youngest coach.

Mazzulla was an assistant alongside Hardy for the 2021-22 Celtics. He jumped into the head role once Udoka was suspended, putting him alongside Hardy as the NBA’s youngest active head coach.

Here’s where Mazzulla and Hardy compare to the other youngest coaches in the NBA, listed by age as of publish time:

T-1. Will Hardy, Utah Jazz: 34 years old

T-1. Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics: 34 years old

3. Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder: 37 years old

4. Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies: 38 years old

5. Willie Green, New Orleans Pelicans: 41 years old

6. J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers: 43 years old

Who is the oldest NBA head coach?

Hardy was in grade school when Gregg Popovich, his former boss, started coaching in San Antonio.

The 73-year-old is far and away the oldest and most experienced NBA head coach. Popovich named himself as head coach of the Spurs in 1996 and has since piled up the most head coaching wins in league history. 

There’s almost a 10-year dropoff between Popovich and the next-oldest active coach:

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs: 73 years old

2. Dwane Casey, Detroit Pistons: 65 years old

3. Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks: 64 years old

4. Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers: 62 years old

5. Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets: 61 years old

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