San Antonio Spurs head coach and president of basketball operations Gregg Popovich has agreed to a new five-year contract, the team announced on Saturday. Terms of the agreement, which will keep Popovich in San Antonio through the 2027-28 season were not officially released, but he will earn more than $80 million over the course of the deal, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Popovich's new contract is the biggest ever handed out to a coach, surpassing the six-year, $78 million deal the Detroit Pistons gave Monty Williams earlier this offseason.
The 74-year-old Popovich is both the oldest and longest-tenured coach of the league. In fact, he first started working with the Spurs organization in 1988 as an assistant, and stayed there until 1992, when he left to take a job with the Golden State Warriors. He returned to the Spurs to become their head coach in 1996, and has been there ever since.
During his 27 seasons in charge, the Spurs became the league's model franchise. From 1997-2019, they made the playoffs 22 seasons in a row, which remains an NBA record. Along the way they went to six Finals and won five titles in three difference decades. They also had just six opening-round exits during that run, which means they went to the Finals as often as they were eliminated in the first round.
Popovich-led Spurs teams have only missed the playoffs five times, but they've made the most of those lottery appearances in winning the top pick two out of those five seasons. In May, the Spurs won this year's top pick, which they used to select the highly-coveted 19-year-old French center Victor Wembanyama.
In March of 2022, Popovich passed Don Nelson to become the winningest head coach in NBA history. Under his leadership the Spurs are 1,366-761, and his .642 winning percentage ranks second among coaches with at least 1,000 wins. Of that select group, only Phil Jackson (.704) can claim to have won more often.
In recognition of his success, Popovich has been named Coach of the Year three times: 2003, 2012 and 2014. That is tied for the most all-time with Nelson and Pat Riley. Popovich's five titles as a coach are tied for third-most all-time with Riley and John Kundla. Only Red Auerbach (11) and Jackson (nine) have more.
Outside of the NBA, Popovich has also coached Team USA to a gold medal during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He has since stepped down from that role, however, and will not be in charge for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He has been succeeded by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Earlier this year, it was announced thatas part of the class of 2023, which will be enshrined on Aug. 12. He will go in alongside his former point guard Tony Parker and former assistant coach Becky Hammon, as well as Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol.