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Vinny Del Negro

  • Sport: Basketball
  • Decade Inducted: 2010s

Vinny Del Negro, retired basketball player and previous head coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls from 2008 to 2010, and the Los Angeles Clippers from 2010 to 2013.

Vinny Del Negro in three seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers presided over a team he helped transform into one of the most exciting squads in the NBA. In five seasons as an NBA head coach, Del Negro owns a career regular season record of 210-184 (.533) and a playoff record of 10-19 (.345).

Del Negro led the Clippers to the greatest season in franchise history in 2012-13, guiding the team to its first-ever Pacific Division title and a franchise best 56-26 record. Del Negro was the Western Conference Coach of the Month in December as he led the Clippers to a 16-0 month in the midst of a historic 17-game winning streak. That season, Del Negro became the fastest coach in Clippers history to win 100 games. Under Del Negro, the Clippers owned the best record in the NBA at the halfway mark at 32-9 and broke numerous team and franchise records.

Del Negro joined the Clippers after having led the Chicago Bulls to two consecutive trips to the NBA Playoffs (2009 and 2010) after back-to-back 41-41 (.500) seasons. Del Negro joined a select list of coaches in NBA history with no prior coaching experience to lead his team to the playoffs in his first two seasons as an NBA head coach. During a memorable stretch of the 2009-10 season, Del Negro led the Bulls to five consecutive victories on the road, all against teams with above .500 or better records, which marked the first time in NBA history a team had achieved that feat.

Prior to his time with the Bulls, Del Negro served as Assistant General Manager of the Phoenix Suns during the 2007-08 campaign after a promotion from his previous role of Director of Player Personnel.

Del Negro played four collegiate seasons at North Carolina State under the late Jim Valvano, averaging 9.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his career. He helped the Wolfpack to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight (1985 and 1986). He was also named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the MVP of the 1987 ACC Tournament, leading NC State to the tournament championship. Del Negro was named to the All-ACC First Team his senior season. As a culmination to his career at North Carolina State, Del Negro had his jersey retired in 2001 and at the 2015 ACC Tournament he was recognized as an ACC Legend.

Del Negro attended Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. His #21 was retired by the school in February, 2008. In 1991, the Vinny Del Negro Endowment Fund was established in Springfield for the Brightside organization which is set up to help physically abused youths and was honored by USA WEEKEND with the Most Caring Athlete Award in 1994. In 1996, Del Negro formed the All Star Connection 4 San Antonio, an organization which raised funds for schools in San Antonio and was recognized by the Texas Legislature in 1997 for the program. In 1999, Del Negro was honored by Governor Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts with its Service Award. In 2013, was the recipient of the National Service Above Self presented by The Rotary Club and Basketball Hall of Fame for his charitable efforts. Del Negro’s father, Vin, played collegiately under Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. Vinny and his wife Lynn met at North Carolina State University.

He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.