O’Brien hired as new head coach of Sixers
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Jim O’Brien will become the 20th head
coach of the Philadelphia 76ers after the two sides agreed to terms on a
O’Brien, who spent the last seven seasons in the Celtics’ organization, will
be formally introduced at a Wednesday afternoon press conference. He
replaces Chris Ford, who assumed the head coaching duties of the 76ers on
an interim basis after Randy Ayers was fired in February.
Philadelphia ended the 2003-04 season with a 33-49 record, including a 12-18
mark under Ford. The 76ers missed the playoffs for the first time since the
The 52-year-old O’Brien resigned as coach of the Celtics in late January after
several conflicts with Danny Ainge, the team’s director of basketball
O’Brien took over for Rick Pitino on January 8, 2001 and compiled an
overall head coaching mark of 139-119 with the Celtics. Boston finished the
2002-03 season at 44-38 and was swept by the Nets in the second round of
the playoffs. The previous campaign, O’Brien guided the Celtics to the Eastern
Conference finals where they fell to New Jersey. He was an assistant with the
club from 1997-2001.
In the collegiate ranks, O’Brien served as the head coach at the University
of Dayton from 1989-94 and led the Flyers to the MCC Tournament championship
in his first season at the school. Prior to coaching at Dayton, O’Brien
also served as an assistant to Pitino with the NBA’s New York Knicks.
As a player, O’Brien was a three-year starter at Saint Joseph’s University
and led the team to an NIT appearance in 1972 and NCAA Tournament berths in
1973 and ’74.
He was selected to the Saint Joseph’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Big Five
Hall of Fame in 1981.