Gregg Popovich or Coach Pop, as he is affectionately known, has been in the basketball coaching business since 1973. Since 1996 he has been the head coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs. This long time on the team makes him the longest-serving active coach not only in the NBA but in all professional league sports in the country.
Pop has won the NBA Coach of the Year three times and the NBA Championship five times, all with the Spurs. He has also never missed the playoffs. In 2015, he was named head coach of the men’s national basketball team in the USA. With all these successes and more, Coach Pop is, without doubt, one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Gregg Popovich Bio (Age and Background Details)
Coach Pop was born Gregg Charles Popovich on January 28, 1949, in East Chicago, Indiana. He is the son of a Serbian father named Raymond and a Croatian mother, Katherine, and was born Gregg Charles Popovich on January 28, 1949. He has always loved football and has been playing since middle school. When he was in 5th grade, Pop moved with his mother to Merrillville, a rural area of Indiana, after his parents divorced. He played basketball at Merrillville High School and after graduating in 1966, he continued his studies at the United States Air Force Academy, where he played for four years. In his senior year, he was captain of the team and also the top scorer.
Pop graduated in 1970 with a degree in Soviet Studies. In addition, he participated in intelligent training with the Air Force, which should lead him to consider a CIA career, but he stayed with basketball. After a period on the Armed Forces team, which he led as captain, Pop began his coaching career on the team as an assistant in 1973. He coached college basketball before joining the NBA as an assistant to the Spurs in 1988. The rest is history.
Family – Wife, and Daughter
Gregg Popovich was married to Erin Popovich (née Conboy) from 1976 until her death on 18 April 2018. The basketball world was shocked by the tragic news of Erin’s passing, which hit the news later that day. Condolences from fellow coaches and players poured in as the media tried to reflect on her life of almost 7 decades.
Erin was born in 1951, so she was 67 years old when she died. When she was still alive, Erin declined an invitation for interviews as early as the mid-1990s. She kept as far away from the limelight as possible.
Now that it has become clear that the cause of her death was the result of a prolonged illness that began in the 1990s, the reason why Erin shied away from the media attention and hardly ever accompanied her husband to events that should have accompanied her has become apparent. When her husband won his first NBA championship with the Spurs in 1999, Pop had to argue with the security forces to let her and the kids celebrate with him in Madison Square, as ESPN Mag revealed in July 2012.
While the family did not officially release details of the cause of death, the San Antonio Express-News reported further details that the disease affected their respiratory system.
Pop and Erin met during his college years at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. No, Erin did not attend school, but her father Jim Conboy was the school’s sports coach. Her friendship with the daughter of Dean General Robert F. McDermott, Betsy, also meant that she attended school regularly. Erin lost her father in 1998 after serving at the Academy for 43 years, which earned him a place in the Air Force Academy Athletics Hall of Fame.
Although Erin’s health did not allow her to appear in public with her husband, as she might have wanted to, she continued to support his career and took a special interest in the way Pop handled his post-match interviews, trying to make him “less salty” with his words. Pop talked about this during his appearance on 790 the Ticket, a radio show in Miami in October 2012.
The couple’s marriage, which lasted over four decades, produced two children, a son named Micky Popovich and a daughter Jill Popovich. The latter made the headlines in 2013 after Pop told the media that she had helped him get over his defeat in the 2013 NBA final against the Heats by pointing out that he had already won four times. Part of her frankness was: “… But poor Greggy can’t lose because he’s special. Can you please get over yourself?”
For someone who deals professionally with tall people, Gregg Popovich himself is not small, he is 1.88 m tall.