Connor McCaffery’s NBA Hiring is First Step Toward Coaching Career
Anyone who watched Connor McCaffery play college basketball during his career at the University of Iowa knows that he was a leader on the court. Connor, the oldest son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, hopes to lead his own team in the future. His first job, in the NBA, should provide a terrific stepping stone.
McCaffery's Iowa career featured an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.59 (527 assists, 147 turnovers). That's second-best in the history of the NCAA. He played in 166 during his Iowa career and, during those six years, developed into a coach on the floor. When he was on the court, it was Connor's team.
This week, the 24-year-old McCaffery agreed to a new job with the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. He told the Des Moines Register he'll do whatever he's asked but knows a few of the things on the list will be to "play dummy defense, run the scout team, help coaches on film stuff, help on video projects if they need, scouting reports if they need... You’ve got to work hard and work your way up. That’s obviously what I want to do.”
The oldest of Fran and Margaret's four children, Connor has undoubtedly learned the game of basketball from both of his parents. His dad, the Iowa head coach since 2010-11, has been a college head coach since before Connor was born (27 years in total). Connor's mom, Margaret (then Nowlin), played college basketball at Notre Dame in the early 1990s, played overseas for a year before retiring from the game due to patellar tendinitis, and coached at Notre Dame for a year.
Connor says he's excited to learn even more from Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle and his staff. Carlisle has been coaching in the NBA since 1989. He's been a head coach in the league since 2001 with three different teams (Detroit, Indiana, and Dallas). He's in his second stint as head coach of the Pacers (2001-2003 and 2021-present). McCaffery told the Des Moines Register, "I'm just going to take everything in."