Randy Scott Wittman (born October 28, 1959) is an American retired basketball player at the guard position and former coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Washington Wizards.
Wittman was selected by the Washington Bullets with the 22nd pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. However, he never played for the Bullets with his rights being traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Wittman spent the early portion of his career with the Hawks, sharing backcourt with Glenn “Doc” Rivers and Anthony “Spud” Webb, and starting most of the games from 1985-88 (while averaging 12 points and 3.5 assists in those years combined).
After a small spell with the Sacramento Kings, he became a fringe player with the Indiana Pacers, retiring in 1991-92 after three unassuming years. For his career, Wittman averaged 7.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, shooting just over 50% from the field.
In 1992, Wittman began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach, first with the Pacers. He spent one season in Indianapolis and another with the Dallas Mavericks (and later with the Orlando Magic).
Subsequently, Wittman spent from 1994-99 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, in the same capacity. During that period, he helped in the development of Wolves’ star forward Kevin Garnett. Wittman then served as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for two seasons, (1999–2001), compiling a record of 62-102.
On January 23, 2007, Wittman became the head coach of the Timberwolves, succeeding Dwane Casey; he had already started the season as assistant to the former.
On December 8, 2008, club owner Glen Taylor fired Wittman after a 4-19 start, asking Kevin McHale to step in, in a complete change of the organization’s structure, as the former Boston Celtics great had been Minnesota’s vice-president of basketball operations since 1995.
Wittman became acting head coach of the Washington Wizards, accepting the position after Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012 for a 2-15 start. On June 4, 2012, the Wizards announced that Wittman would be retained as the official head coach of the team for the 2012-2013 season.
The Wizards improved from 29-53 to 44-38 during the 2013-14 season, which included advancing to the second round of the playoffs for just the third time since 1979 before losing to the Indiana Pacers in six games. The Wizards had a 5-1 record in away games during both series, but were unable to win a home game in the second round. Wittman was praised for his strategy and leadership throughout the playoffs by both players and management alike.
Wittman signed an extension to remain head coach of the Wizards on June 3, 2014.
The Wizards fired Wittman on April 13, 2016 after the team missed the playoffs.
Career highlights and awards
NCAA champion (1981)
Consensus second-team All-American (1983)
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,034 (7.4 ppg)
Rebounds 760 (1.4 rpg)
Assists 1,201 (2.2 apg)