DENVER - Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl was named the 2012-2013 NBA Coach of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.
Karl guided the Nuggets to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, a team-record 57 wins and a league best 38-3 record at home. This included a franchise record 15-game winning streak from Feb. 23 to March 23.
Karl joined Doug Moe as the only coaches in Nuggets history to win the award. This is also Karl’s first Coach of the Year honors in his 25-year career.
Karl totaled 404 points, including 62 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
“I am honored and energized to represent coaching and be their ambassador as coach of the year and continue to symbolize the great coaching there is in the NBA,” Karl said. “There are probably seven or eight guys who are deserving of it and another 10 or 15 other coaches who have done a great job and aren’t getting any recognition.”
The Nuggets had the third-youngest roster in the NBA and reached the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, the 9th in a row under Karl.
Denver’s regular season successes was a tribute to their breakneck-fast play that helped the team lead the league in scoring, offensive rebounds, fast-break points, points off turnovers and points in the paint.
Karl reached two milestones in a four-day span in January.
He won his 1,099th career game on Jan. 20, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder to pass Larry Brown for sixth place on the NBA career wins list. On Jan. 23, Karl celebrated his 1,100th victory when Denver beat the Houston Rockets.
The Nuggets finished 12-4 in January as Karl was named Western Conference Coach of the Month. He received the honor again in March after Denver went 13-2 -- matching the best month in team history.
Despite the team’s success in the regular season, the same could not be said for the postseason. The Nuggets were knocked out of the first round by the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the best of seven series. The disappointing trend continued as Karl led a Nuggets team past the opening round once only once in 2009.
Since being hired by the Nuggets on Jan. 27, 2005, Karl has compiled a 423-257 record. He trails only Moe’s 432 wins on the franchise victory list. At the helm, he’s had a .622 winning percentage.
Overall, Karl has a 1,131-756 record with the Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers
He has compiled 21 consecutive non-losing seasons (the Bucks went 41-41 in 2001-02), matching Phil Jackson for the longest such streak in NBA history.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach, who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary