The Suns have had 20 different head coaches in their 53 year franchise history, and a year’s worth of Coach of the Month awards among them.
The number of Suns coaches to win the award grew to seven today, as Suns coach Monty Williams was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month for March 2021.
The Suns tied for the West’s best record in March with an 11-3 mark, and are currently on a four-game winning streak. For the season, the Suns have the NBA’s second-best record at 33-14 and are 25-6 over their last 31 games. They are one of just three teams in the NBA to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating, this is the first season the Suns rank in the top 10 in both categories since 1997-98. The Suns were 5-1 away from home during March and currently hold the NBA’s best overall record in road games at 16-6.
The Suns got a good one with Monty Williams, who is the first Suns coach to win the award since Jeff Hornacek took home the honor in his second full month on the job in December 2013.
In the three seasons between Hornacek’s tenure and Williams’, the Suns employed three different coaches. Jay Triano is an assistant in Charlotte, Earl Watson is out of coaching and Igor Kokoskov is head coach of Fenebahce in Euroleague. Hornacek went on to coach the New York Knicks for a bit, and is now an assistant in Houston.
This is Williams’ second time winning Western Conference Coach of the Month as he also won for January 2011 while coaching the New Orleans Hornets, whose roster included current Suns point guard Chris Paul and assistant coach Willie Green. Paul has often said he has a great deal of respect for Williams, and that Williams was one of the reasons he wanted to join the Suns this year.
Monty is the first Suns coach to win the monthly honor since December 2013 and the seventh Suns coach overall. He joins three-time winner Cotton Fitzsimmons (April 1989, February 1990, December 1991); Paul Westphal (December 1992); Frank Johnson (December 2002); four-time winner Mike D’Antoni (December 2004, February 2006, December 2006, January 2007); two-time winner Alvin Gentry (November 2009, March 2010); and Jeff Hornacek (December 2013) as Suns coaches to win the honor.
Williams also won the Coach of the Bubble Award for leading the upstart Suns to a 8-0 record in Orlando during the NBA restart that put the team on the cusp of the playoffs.