2016-2017 Featured Speakers
Entering his third season as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr engineered the most successful campaign of any first year coach in NBA history in 2014-15, culminating in the Warriors winning the fourth NBA Championship in franchise history and the first in 40 years. En route to the NBA title, which was Kerr’s sixth after winning five during his 15-year playing career, he led the Warriors to a then-franchise-record 67 victories, establishing NBA records for most wins and highest winning percentage (67-15, .817) by a rookie head coach.
Kerr followed his inaugural campaign by winning the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year Award for leading the Warriors to an NBA-record 73 wins in 2015-16, eclipsing the previous mark of 72 set by a Chicago Bulls squad in 1995-96 that featured Kerr as a key reserve. In addition to the single-season wins record, the Warriors set new league marks for single-season road wins (34), consecutive wins to begin a season (24) and consecutive regular-season home wins (54). After seeing a 16-game improvement over the previous season in 2014-15 (51-31 in 2013-14), an NBA record for the biggest improvement by a 50-win team in league history, the Warriors improved by six wins in 2015-16, joining the Chicago Bulls (1995-96 & 1996-97) as the only teams to win at least 65 games in back-to-back campaigns.
Originally named to the position on May 19, 2014, Kerr is the 25th head coach in franchise history and the 20th since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962. He is the fourth Warriors coach to win an NBA title, joining Eddie Gottlieb (1947), George Senesky (1956) and Alvin Attles (1975). Kerr, 50, owns 28 years of NBA experience as a player, coach, television analyst and front office executive, including a three-year stint (2007-10) as president of basketball operations and general manager for the Phoenix Suns. During his time as the Suns GM, the club posted a 155-91 (.630) record and earned a pair of playoff berths, including a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals.
Having made the playoffs 11 times during his playing career, Kerr is one of only 26 players in NBA history to win five championships, earning three rings with Chicago and two with San Antonio. A key reserve for Chicago during the team’s three-peat championship run from 1996-98, Kerr famously hit the game-winning, title-clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals. He won his fourth consecutive championship in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs to become one of only two non-Boston Celtics to win four-straight NBA titles (joining Frank Saul, 1951-54). His fifth ring came in his second stint with the Spurs during his final NBA campaign in 2002-03.
The NBA’s all-time three-point percentage leader, having converted on 45.4 percent (726-of-1599) of his attempts from long range, Kerr amassed career averages of 6.0 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 910 regular-season games with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs (twice) and Portland Trail Blazers.
Kerr was originally selected by the Phoenix Suns in the second round (50th overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona. Kerr capped his collegiate career as a senior in 1988 by helping lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance. An All-Pac 10 guard in both 1986 and 1988, he remains the school’s career leader in three-point field goal percentage (57.3 percent). Kerr was also a member of the USA Basketball team that captured the 1986 World Championship in Madrid, the last American Men’s Senior Team composed strictly of amateur players to capture a gold medal. During his playing career, Kerr played for some of the most successful coaches in the history of the game, including Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Lenny Wilkens, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Lute Olson. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, and raised in Pacific Palisades, CA, Kerr was a ballboy in 1978 and 1979 at UCLA, where his late father, Malcolm, was a professor.
As a broadcaster, Kerr has served two different four-year stints as a game analyst on TNT’s award-winning NBA coverage. In addition to a full slate of regular-season games, he also worked TNT’s marquee events, including the NBA All-Star Game, playoffs and conference finals. During his most recent stint in broadcasting, beginning in 2010, Kerr also served as an analyst for NCAA Tournament and Final Four coverage on Turner Sports and CBS. Kerr earned a degree in general studies from Arizona with an emphasis in history, sociology, and English in 1988 and serves on the board of directors for Peace Players International, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that uses basketball as a means to bridge cultural gaps in areas of political, racial and religious conflict.
Born on September 27, 1965, Steve and his wife, Margot, have two sons, Nicholas and Matthew, and one daughter, Madeleine. Nick received his degree from the University of San Diego in 2015 and is completing his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he played as a walk-on for the Bears’ basketball team for one season. Madeleine is a senior at UC Berkeley and is a member of the volleyball team. Matthew is a freshman at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
In October 2014, Steve and Margot Kerr committed $1 million to the University of Arizona to assist with the McKale Memorial Center renovation and future academic facility enhancements.