Rudy Tomjanovich, head coach of the gold medalist 2000 U.S. Olympic basketball team and head mentor of Houston's 1994 and 1995 NBA Championship squads, was named Director of Scouting for the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team program for 2006-08 on Feb. 15, 2006.
As the Director of Scouting, Tomjanovich will oversee the program's advance scouting and opponent personnel scouting.
'I'm thrilled and honored to be working with USA Basketball again. I'm very grateful to Jerry Colangelo for this important assignment, and I believe that my experience coaching international basketball and my experience with advance scouting throughout my career will help me fulfill this responsibility and help Coach K and his staff bring back the gold,' Tomjanovich stated after being named.
Tomjanovich is no stranger to USA Basketball nor senior level FIBA competitions. He served as head coach of the 1998 USA World Championship Team that originally was to be a team comprising NBA players. But when labor problems prevented their use, the USA team ended up comprising American players who had played professionally overseas, in the CBA or in college. Despite formulating the team just weeks in advance of the Worlds, Tomjanovich led the U.S. to surprising 7-2 finish and the bronze medal, defeating host Greece 84-61 in the bronze medal contest.
Two years later he led a USA team consisting of NBA players to a perfect 8-0 mark and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. In leading the U.S. to Olympic gold, he became just the third coach to win an NBA title and an Olympic championship, joining Hall of Fame coaches Chuck Daly and Lenny Wilkins.
After serving one season (2003-04) as a personnel consultant for Houston, Tomjanovich was named on July 10, 2004, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Compiling a 22-19 mark, he stepped down for health reasons on Feb. 2, 2005.
'Rudy T,' as he is known around basketball circles, spent 34 seasons with the Houston Rockets, including 12 as head coach. Compiling a 503-397 regular season record and a 55.9 winning percentage as the Rockets' head mentor, he is the franchise's all-time winningest head coach. Additionally, he led Houston to seven playoff appearances, a playoff record of 51-39 (.567 winning percentage), and two NBA Championships (1994 and 1995).
Tomjanovich became the ninth coach in Rockets history on May 20, 1992, after serving as interim coach for three months. He led the Rockets to a 58-24 regular season record and the franchise's first NBA title in 1993-94, then repeated the feat in 1994-95 after leading Houston to a 47-35 mark during the regular season.
He has been involved in all four Rockets divisional championships -- as leading scorer in 1976-77, assistant coach in 1985-86 and as head coach in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Tomjanovich was the 11th coach in NBA history to have his team at least 25 games over .500 in his first full season -- only the third to do so after inheriting a team that was not 10 games over .500 the previous season. He also is the only coach in NBA history to guide his team from the NBA Draft Lottery to a division title in his first full season.
After ending his playing career in 1981, Tomjanovich spent the next two seasons as a Houston scout before being named assistant coach in 1983. He served in that capacity until February 1992 when he was named interim head coach. The Rockets responded with a 11-4 record - the best start for any coach in franchise history.
A recipient of many awards, he was voted The Sporting News NBA Coach of the Year in 1993. Serving as head coach of the 1997 Western Conference All-Star team, he earned NBA Coach of the Month honors three times (April 1993, November 1993 and November 1996).
A five-time NBA All-Star and the No. 2 overall selection in the 1970 NBA draft (selected by the San Diego Rockets), Tomjanovich spent his entire 11-season (1970-81) career with the Rockets. He retired Oct. 2, 1981, and his jersey was retired on Jan. 28, 1982. Only two numbers have been retired in the franchise's history - Tomjanovich (45) and Calvin Murphy (23).
Tomjanovich is the third leading scorer in franchise history with 13,383 points (17.4 per game), trailing Hakeem Olajuwon and Calvin Murphy. He also ranks third in career games (768); third in minutes (25,714); third in field goals made (5630) and attempted (11,240); fourth in rebounding (6,198 / 8.1 per game), ranking behind Olajuwon, Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes; fifth in free throws attempted (2089), sixth in free throws made (2666) and 11th in scoring average (17.4 ppg.). He averaged better than 20 points in four seasons with a high of 24.5 ppg. in 1973-74.
A consensus collegiate All-America selection in 1970, Tomjanovich played three seasons (1968, 1969 and 1970) at the University of Michigan and finished his senior year in 1970 ranked as the NCAA's seventh leading scorer, averaging 30.1 ppg., and 13th leading rebounder, averaging 15.7 rpg. In his three seasons, Rudy T. compiled 1,808 career points (25.1 ppg.) and a Michigan career best mark of 1,039 rebounds (14.4 rpg.).
Rudy and his wife Sophie, reside in Houston and are the parents of three children, Nichole, Melissa and Rudy III.