Frank Layden

Frank Layden (born January 5, 1932)

Teams coached: Dowling Golden Lions, Niagara Purple Eagles, Utah Jazz, Utah Starzz
Dowling record: 16-24 (.400)
Niagara record: 119-97 (.551)
Overall record^: 135-121 (.527)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  1  (1970)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1970)
  • NIT Championships:  0  (Runner-up in 1972)
  • NIT Appearances:  2  (1972, 1976)


  • NBA Coach of the Year:  1  (1984)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1998-1999 Utah Starzz
1981-1988 Utah Jazz
1976-1979 Atlanta Hawks (asst)
1968-1976 Niagara
1966-1968 Dowling

Frank Layden Facts

  • Francis P. Layden
  • Born January 5, 1932
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
  • Alma Mater: Niagara University (BA, 1955)
  • Graduated from Fort Hamilton HS in Brooklyn then played at Niagara for long-time Purple Eagles’ head coach Taps Gallagher
  • First head coaching role was a two-year stint at Dowling College (NY), where he went 16-24 and improved from 3-18 in year one to 13-6 in year two
  • Returned to his alma mater in 1968 and coached the Eagles for eight seasons, going 119-97 overall
    • Went to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1970 and also two NITs, including a Runner-up finish in 1972
    • Among those he coached was future Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy, a three-time AP All-American and eventual NBA All-Star
    • Layden also served as athletic director at Niagara from 1969-76, holding the dual roles just like his former coach Gallagher
  • Left in 1976 to take an assistant job with the Atlanta Hawks, working under his former Niagara teammate Hubie Brown for three seasons
  • Hired in 1979 to be the general manager of the Utah Jazz, a franchise that had just re-located from New Orleans
    • Served as GM from 1979-87 and also was the team’s head coach from 1981-88
    • In 1984, Layden won NBA Coach of the Year, NBA Executive of the Year and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award
    • As coach, he was 277-294 overall (plus 18-23 in the Playoffs) and reached the Western Conference Semifinals three times
    • As GM, he was responsible for drafting and signing long-time Jazz duo John Stockton and Karl Malone
    • Stepped down in 1988 and elevated his assistant, Jerry Sloan, to be his replacement; Sloan coached the Jazz until 2011
    • Frank’s son Scott later spent ten years as GM of the Jazz (and also four years as the GM of the New York Knicks)
  • After a decade out of the game, he spent 1+ seasons as the head coach of the Utah Starzz (now the Las Vegas Aces) of the WNBA
  • Layden was given the 2019 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service as a NBA coach and executive

Frank Layden Coaching Tree

  • Jerry Eaves (Simmons, North Carolina A&T)
  • Marc Iavaroni (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Phil Johnson (Kansas City/Sacramento Kings)
  • Gene Littles (Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Kenny Natt (Sacramento Kings)
  • Jerry Sloan (Utah Jazz)
  • Andy Walker (Niagara)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I and NAIA levels only