Jim O’Brien (born in 1952)

Jim O’Brien (born February 11, 1952)

Teams coached: Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals, Dayton Flyers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers
Wheeling Jesuit record^: 74-69 (.517)
Dayton record: 61-87 (.412)
Overall record^: 135-156 (.464)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  1  (1990)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • MCC Tournament Champion:  1  (1990)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2016-2019 Philadelphia 76ers (asst)
2012-2013 Dallas Mavericks (asst)
2007-2011 Indiana Pacers
2004-2005 Philadelphia 76ers
2001-2004 Boston Celtics
1997-2001 Boston Celtics (asst)
1994-1997 Kentucky (asst)
1989-1994 Dayton
1987-1989 New York Knicks (asst)
1982-1987 Wheeling Jesuit
1978-1982 Oregon (asst)
1977-1978 Saint Joseph’s (asst)
1976-1977 Maryland (asst)
1975-1976 Pembroke State (asst)
1974-1975 Wheeling Jesuit (asst)

Jim O’Brien Facts

  • James Francis Xavier O’Brien
  • Born February 11, 1952
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Alma Mater: Saint Joseph’s University (BA, 1974) / University of Maryland (MBA, 1981)
  • The Philly-native graduated from Roman Catholic HS (PA) and played for Jack McKinney at St. Joseph’s for three years
  • Got into coaching after graduation, spending a year as an assistant at then-NAIA Wheeling Jesuit (WV) under Paul Baker
  • Spent one year each as an assistant at Pembroke (under Joe Gallagher), Maryland (under Lefty Driesell) and Saint Joseph’s (under Harry Booth), then four seasons at Oregon working under Jim Haney
  • Returned to Wheeling Jesuit in 1982 and spent five seasons as head coach of the Cardinals; went 74-69 overall
  • Left for an assistant job with the New York Knicks in 1987, working two seasons for head coach Rick Pitino
  • Hired in 1989 to be the head coach at Dayton, leading the Flyers for five years
    • Won the MCC Tournament in his first year to get to the NCAA Tournament, but finished .500 or worse in each of the next four and was fired in 1994
  • Reunited with Pitino, spending three years on the staff at Kentucky
  • Headed back to the NBA in 1997, following Pitino to the Boston Celtics
    • Took over as the Celtics’ head coach in 2001 after four years as an assistant there
    • Went to the Eastern Conference finals in his second year and Semifinals in his third, but resigned mid-way through year four with a 22-24 record
    • Went 139-119 in 3+ years at the helm, plus 13-13 in the Playoffs
  • Spent the following season as head coach of the 76ers, going 43-39 and reaching the First Round of the Playoffs
  • After a couple years away, O’Brien was hired to be the head coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2007
    • Was 121-167 in 3+ years at the helm and was fired mid-way through the 2010-11 season
  • Later worked as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks (under Rick Carlisle) for one year and back with the 76ers (under Brett Brown) for three seasons
  • Father-in-law was long-time NBA and Saint Joseph’s head coach Jack Ramsay

Jim O’Brien Coaching Tree


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