Phil Ford

Phil Jackson Ford Jr. (born February 9, 1956) is a retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. He graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1974.

The second pick in the first round of the draft, Ford was NBA Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Kings in 1979. In 482 NBA games, Ford scored 5,594 points, an 11.6 average, and had 3,083 assists, an average of 6.4 per game. He retired from the NBA in 1985.

In 1988 he returned to North Carolina as an assistant coach, and helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1993 national title. After Smith retired in 1997, Ford became the top assistant to his successor, Bill Guthridge.

Ford left the school in 1999-2000 along with the rest of Guthridge’s staff when Matt Doherty took over as head coach with his own coaching staff.

Ford currently works for the Educational Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the University of North Carolina athletic department. He also briefly served as color commentator on UNC basketball broadcasts.

After a brief stint as an assistant coach to Isiah Thomas for the New York Knicks, Ford was retained in the same position by the Charlotte Bobcats’ new head coach Larry Brown in June 2008.


Career highlights and awards
All-NBA Second Team (1979)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1979)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1979)
John R. Wooden Award (1978)
USBWA Player of the Year (1978)
NABC Player of the Year (1978)
Sporting News Player of the Year (1978)
2× Consensus first-team All-American (1977–1978)
Consensus second-team All-American (1976)
ACC Player of the Year (1978)
No. 12 retired by the University of North Carolina