Eric Musselman came to Arizona State in September of 2012 and was instrumental in leading the turn-around of the Sun Devils in his first season, as ASU improved by 12 wins and returned to the postseason for the first time in three years. In April of 2013 he earned the title of Associate Head Coach Coach. Now in his second season, Musselman is responsible for opponent scouting, on-court player development and recruiting.
Musselman and and his father, the late Bill Musselman, were the first father and son combination to both become NBA head coaches. Bill is the only coach to lead teams in four professional basketball leagues (NBA, ABA, CBA, WBA). ASU can say that Musselman is the only current college assistant coach who was an NBA head coach.
"In talking to several people it was clear Eric would be a great addition to the Sun Devil family because of unique background and a passion for the game on so many levels," said Herb Sendek, the 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. "I love the fact he has coached at so many levels, including leagues where guys are trying to make the next step. Our goal as we approached this search, was to enhance the experience, depth of knowledge and teaching skills of our staff. All basketball players, like other athletes, dream of playing at the highest levels. The number of games Eric has watched and players he has worked with is staggering. Eric and his father both earned their coaching stripes recruiting, managing and coaching in the minor leagues before moving on to the NBA. Both current and future players find that very intriguing."
Musselman earned league Coach of the Year honors with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League in 2011-12. His squad had eight NBA call-ups and won the regular season title with a 38-12 record, including wins in 21 of the final 23 games. He also coached the Venezuela National Team in 2011 and 2012 at the Pre-Olympics in Argentina while his 2011 team averaged a tournament-best 94.8 points per game. His NBA experience includes leading the Sacramento Kings to a 101.3 points per game scoring mark in 2006-07, eighth-best in the league as the Kings sold out every home game.
Great @slamonline story on Gerald Green and how much of an impact @ericpmusselman had on him slamonline.com/online/the-mag... @doughaller @paulcoro-- ASU Men's Basketball (@SunDevilHoops) December 7, 2012
In 2002-03 he was second in NBA Coach of the Year voting as he led the Golden State Warriors to their two best seasons in ten years, including a 51-31 (.622) home record. The Warriors were the most improved team in the league with 17 more wins and the second-leading scoring team in the league at 102.4 points per game. He has served as an assistant coach under Mike Fratello (Memphis), Lon Kruger (Atlanta), Chuck Daley (Orlando) and Doc Rivers (Magic).
Much of his coaching knowledge was learned in the minor league level, as he has the second-best winning percentage in the 54-year history of the CBA (208-102) behind only George Karl. A five-time CBA All-Star Coach, his teams won six division titles and reached the postseason in each of his seven seasons. Twenty-four of his players eventually reached the NBA. He also coached in the USBL in 1995-96 where his teams went 54-3 (.947) and earned league Coach of the Year in 1996.
"Eric Musselman, I really have to thank him a lot in terms of my career. If I could thank him every day, I would, because he was probably the one person that helped me get back in the League. He helped motivate me, he prepared me. He just showed me a different way of scoring, a different way of playing defense. I have to give a lot of credit to him for me being back."
Indiana Pacer Gerald Green
The coaching started early for Eric as he took over the Rapid City (S.D.) Thrillers at age 23 in 1989-90, a year after serving as general manager and hiring then-college assistant Flip Saunders as head coach. In his five seasons (1989-1995), he guided the Thrillers to four division titles and two appearances in the CBA finals. In addition, his Rapid City teams posted the CBA's best record four times.
He was retained as general manager and head coach when the Thrillers franchise relocated from South Dakota to West Palm Beach, Fla. In two seasons there, he guided the Beachdogs to a 79-33 mark, reaching the conference finals in 1995-96 and the league finals in 1996-97. His 1996-97 Florida club ranks as the top defensive team in CBA history, surrendering just 90.8 points per game. A Minneapolis native, Musselman's international coaching experience is extensive and includes serving as an assistant for the USA team that won the gold medal at the 1997 Tournament of Americas in Uraguay.
He coached a CBA All-Star team that went undefeated in five games against the Chinese National Team in 1993 and was an assistant to Hubie Brown on a Nike/CBA All-Star team that won the Limoges Grand Trophy tournament in Limoges, France. A 1987 graduate of the University of San Diego, Musselman played under Jim Brovelli and Hank Egan and was a West Coast Conference (WCC) all-academic selection and twice played for NCAA Tournament teams.
Married to Danyelle Sargent Musselman, Eric and his wife have two sons: Michael (18) and Matthew (13), and a daughter Mariah (4).