Dick Motta: Mormon Coach
Dick Motta is a former National Basketball Association coach, who enjoyed a twenty-five year career and was awarded the 2015 NBA Coaches Association Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.
Motta was born on September 3, 1931, in Midvale, Utah. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and began his coaching career at a school in Grace, Idaho. After serving in the Air Force, he took a coaching position at Weber State in Ogden, Utah. The team won three Big Sky championships under his leadership. From 1968 to 1977, he was head coach of the Chicago Bulls in their third year of existence. He led the team to six playoff appearances and was named the 1971 NBA coach of the year.
Motta left the Bulls to coach the Washington Bullets, where he stayed until 1980. He won an NBA Championship in 1978 and led the team to four consecutive playoffs. In 1980, he became the first coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Before he retired in 1997, he coached the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets.
He never played high school, college, or professional basketball, but he ranked sixth all-time in regular season games coached (1,952) and twelfth in all-time wins (935).
Motta and his wife, Janice, are the parents of three children.