Tim Grgurich

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Tim Grgurich (born June 10, 1942)[1] is an American basketball coach who is currently an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons. Grgurich served as the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, for 5 seasons in the mid to late 1970's. He also served as the head coach at UNLV for the first seven games of the 1994–95 season before abruptly resigning. He arrived at UNLV in the mid–1980s, importing the amoeba defense developed when he was a Pitt assistant under Bob Timmons and Charles 'Buzz' Ridl to Jerry Tarkanian's teams.

A native of the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Grgurich attended Central Catholic High School.[2] As a player at Pitt he led the team to two consecutive post season tournaments in 1963 and 1964. He then served 12 years (1964–1975) as an assistant coach and head of recruiting under Timmons and Ridl. Grgurich helped to develop Pitt's famous amoeba defense that along with the superlative play of All-American forward Billy Knight launched a 22-game win streak for Pitt in the 1973-1974 season under head coach 'Buzz' Ridl. This play carried Pitt to the Elite 8 that year, its furthest advance in the NCAA tournament since its Final Four appearance in 1941. The '74 season ended with a loss to eventual NCAA champion North Carolina State with David Thompson and Tom Burleson, in a game played on NC State's home court in Raleigh.

After Ridl retired several seasons later, Grgurich was named head coach at Pitt for the 1975-1976 season. After two rebuilding seasons he coached Pitt to 3 consecutive winning seasons in his 5 total seasons there, and a post season bid in 1980. Grgurich finished with a record of 69-70, as his mostly undermanned teams were noted for playing with high energy, enthusiasm, and interesting defensive schemes. Grgurich continued those defensive stratagems while serving as the top assistant coach at UNLV, culminating with winning the NCAA championship in 1990 over top-ranked Duke. UNLV was also ranked #1 for all of 1991 and reached the Final Four again that year.[1]

Grgurich has served as an assistant coach for several NBA teams including extended stays with the Seattle SuperSonics under fellow Pittsburgher George Karl. During his time in Seattle, the Sonics reached the NBA finals in 1996. Seattle's teams were noted for their defensive prowess implemented by Grgurich. Grgurich also was an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets, again under George Karl. Grgurich has been sought after for his trusted knowledge of the game and his vast defensive coaching abilities and the enthusiasm he brings to the game. [3] For the 2010-11 season he was hired as an assistant coach/consultant by fellow Pittsburgher and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.[4] Since then, Grgurich has had similar consulting roles with the Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Milwaukee Bucks.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Pittsburgh Panthers (NCAA Division I independent) (1975–1976)
1975–76 Pittsburgh 12–15
Pittsburgh: 12–15
Pittsburgh Panthers (Eastern Collegiate Basketball League / Eastern Athletic Association) (1976–1980)
1976–77 Pittsburgh 6–21 1–9 4th (West)
1977–78 Pittsburgh 16–11 5–5 T–3rd
1978–79 Pittsburgh 18–11 6–4 4th
1979–80 Pittsburgh 17–12 5–5 T–4th NIT First Round
Pittsburgh: 69–70 17–23
UNLV Runnin' Rebels (Big West Conference) (1994–1995)
1994–95 UNLV 2–5 0–2
UNLV: 2–5 0–2
Total: 71–78


  • Sciullo, Sam, Jr. (2005). Pitt: 100 Years of Pitt Basketball. Champaign: Sports Publishing. ISBN 1-59670-081-5.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  1. ^ a b Samuels, Jeff (April 4, 1975). "Ridl: 'I could have stayed'". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "Buzz Ridl retires as Panther coach". Observer-Reporter. Associated Press. April 4, 1975. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Smizik, Bob (February 14, 2009). "Memories of Pitt basketball". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  4. ^ http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/29130-pittsburgh-native-nba-legend

External links[edit]