Jeff Van Gundy and Stan Van Gundy: Which Brother Has More Wins?

Most brothers spend Christmas Day together, whether it’s opening presents under the tree or eating around the dinner table. For Jeff Van Gundy and Stan Van Gundy, most Christmases have seen one or both of them at a basketball game.

Both Jeff and Stan have cemented their status as NBA royalty thanks to long coaching careers and successful broadcasting tenures. But one brother holds bragging rights as the more successful coach.

Jeff and Stan Van Gundy’s coaching careers have spanned multiple decades

Although he is approximately two-and-a-half years younger, Jeff was the first brother to coach at the NBA level. JVG was brought on as a New York Knicks assistant in 1989 following brief stops at Providence and Rutgers. Across six-and-a-half seasons, Van Gundy served under four different head coaches including Pat Riley before taking over for Don Nelson during the 1995-96 season.

In a little under six full seasons as New York’s head coach, Jeff led the Knicks to the playoffs in all but one season and even an NBA Finals appearance in 1998-99. Then in 2003, nearly two full years after resigning from the Knicks, JVG agreed to become the Houston Rockets head coach, where he’d work through the 2006-07 season.

As for Stan, the elder statesman of the Van Gundy duo coached for 12 years — which included a one-year stop at Wisconsin — before getting his first NBA gig. The Miami Heat hired Stan as an assistant coach in 1995 after the new Heat boss Pat Riley was not allowed to poach Jeff from the Knicks. Riley later told the New York Times, “I wanted at least one Van Gundy with me.”

SVG served as a loyal assistant under Riley for eight full seasons before taking over for the Hall of Fame coach ahead of the 2003-04 campaign. He would lead the Heat for two seasons but resign during his third, the year Miami won its first NBA title. In 2007, Stan became the Orlando Magic head coach, leading Dwight Howard and company to the NBA Finals in 2009. He would later become the head coach of two more franchises; the Detroit Pistons in 2014 and New Orleans Pelicans for a single season in 2020.

Which Van Gundy brother has more wins?

The battle between brothers Jeff and Stan is closer than you might think. But one coach can say they’ve won more games as an NBA head coach.

Across 11 seasons, the 59-year-old Jeff has a coaching record of 430-318. He has also led his teams to 88 postseason games, compiling a 44-44 record. As for the 62-year-old Stan, the older brother has gone 554-425 across 13 seasons, with a 48-43 postseason record to boot.

Thanks to coaching over 200 more games than his younger brother, Stan has had more victories as a head coach. However, Jeff has a slightly-better winning percentage, beating Stan .575 to .566. That places them 25th and 28th all-time amongst all NBA coaches with 400 or more games coached.

Both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy could return to coaching someday


Jeff Van Gundy Reveals Plan For His Last NBA Game on ESPN: ‘Tell the Entire Truth — Not 90% of It, Not 80% of It, but the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth’

After full careers in coaching, Jeff and Stan have each found success as broadcasters. JVG has been a regular member of ESPN’s broadcasting crew since 2007, serving as one of the lead color commentators for the NBA Finals on ABC. Stan also joined ESPN as an analyst in 2018 before leaving for Turner in 2019. He left Turner to coach the Pelicans in 2020 but returned in 2021.

That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see either coach trade in a microphone for a clipboard down the road.

It seemed like Stan was done with coaching for good following his four-year tenure with the Pistons. But then the opportunity to coach Zion Williamson and the Pelicans came calling, which brought SVG back to the bench. He even told the Stupodity podcast that his exit, “wasn’t a mutual decision,” meaning the older Van Gundy wasn’t ready to leave coaching behind.

Considering he hasn’t coached since 2007, Jeff might appear content sticking with his gig at ESPN. However, reports as recent as 2020 confirmed the former Knicks and Rockets boss “badly wants to return to coaching.” He was even a finalist for the Rockets job in 2020 but lost out to Stephen Silas.

It would be great to see both of the Van Gundy’s return to coaching. In the interim, we at least get to hear them share their basketball expertise

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.