Frank Layden

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Frank Layden
Personal information
Born (1932-01-05) January 5, 1932 (age 86)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Career information
High school Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn, New York)
College Niagara (1950–1953)
Coaching career 1968–1988
Career history
As coach:
1968–1976 Niagara
19761979 Atlanta Hawks (assistant)
19811988 Utah Jazz
1998–1999 Utah Starzz
Career highlights and awards

As coach:

As executive:

Francis Layden (born January 5, 1932)[1] is a retired American basketball coach and executive of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz.

Coaching career

In addition to his coaching at the professional level, Layden coached at Adelphi Suffolk College and is also a former head coach and player of his alma mater Niagara University's basketball team. Layden coached Niagara to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1970, with the help of Calvin Murphy. In 1976 he was hired to be an assistant coach with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks joining former Niagara teammate Hubie Brown. In 1979 he was hired to be the General Manager of the then New Orleans Jazz, and became the head coach of the Jazz (now in Salt Lake City) in 1981, replacing Tom Nissalke. He coached the Jazz for the next seven and a half years. He was instrumental in drafting and signing franchise mainstays John Stockton and Karl Malone to the club. He retired from coaching during the 1988–1989 season, moving into the team's front office and was replaced as coach by his assistant, Jerry Sloan.

In 1984, Layden was awarded the NBA's Coach of the Year. That same season, he also won the NBA's Executive of the Year and the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Awards. (He and Joe O'Toole are the only non-players in NBA history to win the award).

Layden joined the Utah Eagles of the Continental Basketball Association in October 2006 as an honorary assistant coach.[2]

Coaching philosophy

Layden during his coaching days was known for his lighthearted approach to the game as well as to himself. Often he mocked his weight and looks and was known for giving one-liners to the media before and after games such as "I don't jog because I want to be sick when I die" and "I once got on a scale to have my fortune read and it said 'come back again alone.'".[3] Layden was once over 300 pounds but slimmed down in the Summer of 1986, losing over 85 pounds for health reasons.[3] Even after he lost weight he still made himself the butt of jokes, especially about weight and food.[3] He was once fined $1,000 during a game in 1986 for making a satirical wave goodbye and exit after getting ejected.[3] Once in a road game against the Denver Nuggets, there was a halftime contest where a young fan won a halftime shooting contest. Layden pulled the kid aside and jokingly asked him if he was interested in helping out the Jazz, who were down by 25 points at the time. Layden then tried sneaking him onto the court with four other Jazz players and got the fan on the court before the referees realized what was going on and stopped play.[3] During the 1987 playoff series against the Golden State Warriors, Layden arrived to the arena in full Groucho Marx nose, glasses, and mustache getup and did a comedy bit with Warriors coach George Karl to try and make things more lighthearted after the previous game featured tension-filled moments and fighting amongst players.[3] It was because of his personality that he was often used as a presenter for displaying the lighthearted moments in the NBA as well as in sports, hosting specials for video and on television, including two NBA blooper tapes that he co-hosted along with Marv Albert.

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Utah 1981–82 62 17 45 .274 6th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Utah 1982–83 82 30 52 .366 5th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Utah 1983–84 82 45 37 .549 1st in Midwest 11 5 6 .455 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Utah 1984–85 82 41 41 .500 4th in Midwest 10 4 6 .400 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Utah 1985–86 82 42 40 .573 4th in Midwest 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First round
Utah 1986–87 82 44 38 .537 2nd in Midwest 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First round
Utah 1987–88 82 47 35 .573 3rd in Midwest 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Utah 1988–89 17 11 6 .780 (resigned)
Career 571 277 294 .485 41 18 23 .439


Layden retired from coaching the Jazz in 1989 to serve full-time as the franchise team president and general manager, hiring former NBA player and then Jazz assistant Jerry Sloan as the new head coach. During this time, Layden participated with Marv Albert in a video published by Sports Illustrated called Dazzling Dunks and Basketball Bloopers, as well as a sequel to that a year later. Layden once served briefly as a consultant for the New York Knicks, where his son Scott Layden served as general manager for a time. He continues to live with his wife, Barbara, in Salt Lake City. Layden was the head coach of the Utah Starzz WNBA team from 1998 through 1999.


  1. ^,2808,presenter,Frank%20%20Layden,speaker.asp
  2. ^ Hedin, Bryan (20 October 2006). "Layden joins Eagles as honorary coach; ex-Y. player signs". The Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Prudential at the Half halftime of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Playoff between the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, in a report by Bill Raftery presented by CBS Sports.

External links

[1] Frank Layden coachfile

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