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Basketball coach Michael Andrew “Mike” D’Antoni, born May 8, 1951, in Mullens, Wyoming County, is one of four children of longtime high school coach Lewis D’Antoni and wife Betty Jo.

Mike D’Antoni was a standout basketball player at Mullens High School and at Marshall University. He spent three seasons with the former Kansas City Kings and later played for the Spirits of St. Louis (in the American Basketball Association) and the San Antonio Spurs. He also played and coached basketball in Italy. D’Antoni—whose grandfather emigrated to America from Italy in 1908—now holds dual citizenship.

His first head coaching job in the National Basketball Association came in the 1997-98 season with the Denver Nuggets. He was also head coach for the Phoenix Suns (2003-2008) and the New York Knicks (2008-2012). He quickly became known for his fast-paced high-scoring teams. D’Antoni was head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012 to 2014. During the 2015-16 season, he was an associate head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. From 2016 through 2020, he was head coach of the Houston Rockets. During his first three seasons, the Rockets won more games during a three-year span than at any time in franchise history. He stepped down after the 2019-20 season after failing to reach a contract extension. In 2020-21, he served as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets and currently is a coaching advisor for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Brother Dan D’Antoni (born 1947) also played basketball for Mullens High and Marshall. After a long career as a high school basketball coach, he joined his brother as an assistant, with the Phoenix Suns, the New York Knicks, and the Lakers. From 2014-15 through 2023-24, he was the men’s basketball coach at Marshall University, where he had been a star player in the 1960s. He finished his coaching career with 177 wins against 148 losses, making him the second-winningest coach in program history. In 2018, Dan D’Antoni led Marshall to its only NCAA Tournament victory in school history, an 81-75 victory over higher-ranked Wichita State. He remains on Marshall’s staff as an advisor and “ambassador” for the school.

A third D’Antoni brother, Mark, is a lawyer in Charleston, and their sister, Kathy, is an education administrator.

Their father, Lewis (1913-2017), excelled as a point guard at Mullens High School and played at Concord College. He coached basketball at Pineville and Mullens high schools and in Ohio. He retired with 450 wins and 200 losses. In 2004, the elder D’Antoni was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

The four children credit their parents for their success. Mike D’Antoni said, “I think the whole atmosphere, how to compete and how to interact with other people, how to lose . . . it was just something that was instilled, that was just the way our family grew up.”

Last Revised on April 12, 2024

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Sources

Boucher, Dave. The D'Antonis Have Always Had a Family Game Plan. Charleston Daily Mail, November 14, 2012.

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Mike D’Antoni." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 12 April 2024. Web. 24 May 2024.

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