Chris Quinn - Hornets Head Coach Profile

Everything you need to know about the Miami Heat Assistant Coach who is a leading candidate for the Hornets Head Coaching Vacancy


Chris Quinn played collegiately as a point guard at Notre Dame from 2002-2006. He went onto an eight year professional career from 2006 to 2013, playing for four NBA teams, one G league team, as well as overseas professionally in Russia and Spain.

After finishing his professional playing career in 2013, Chris Quinn transitioned into coaching taking up the director of player development for Northwestern, under head coach Chris Collins. After one season at Northwestern, he transitioned to the NBA as a player development coach for the Miami Heat, the team that signed him as UDFA in 2006, and where he played from 2006-2010. Since 2014 Quinn has been on the Heat coaching staff, transitioning to an assistant coach/player development role in 2016, and filling in as interim head coach multiple times for Erik Spoelstra when he has had to miss games. 

Links to the Hornets Organization


What people say 

Jimmy Butler had this to say this season when asked about Coach Quinn after Quinn reportedly drew-up a game winning play for the Heat "That's what happens when you got a guy from Notre Dame that's smart," Butler said. "... He's going to be a head coach one day very, very soon.". - Inside The Heat

"Ask Heat insiders who most embodies the team's culture, and Quinn is commonly the answer (one league source affectionately referred to Quinn as Spoelstra's "mini-me" for his temperament and organizational skills). He's an emotionally stable leader who inspires confidence in players, as revealed when he filled in for Spoelstra as head coach for a stint in March and April. - ESPN's Coaching Prospects 2022

Udonis Haslem "When you listen to Quinny, you’re hearing Spo. It’s the same message. He has the knowledge, the experience, the relationship with the players. He has every base covered when you talk about checking the boxes to have the ability to be a successful head coach.” - Inside The Heat

Coaching strengths 

As a former point guard himself, Quinn has a strong understanding of the game, and what it takes to be a leader. He has had the opportunity to be on the Miami Heat staff for the past 9 seasons and learn from a Hall of Fame coach in Erik Spoelstra. This valuable experience allowed Quinn to learn what it takes to build a winning culture, as the Heat have had a record over .500 in seven of his nine seasons on the staff, and have had two trips to the NBA Finals in 2020, and 2023. Quinn has served as the head coach of the Heat when Spoelstra has had to miss games and has a record of 2-1 overall as the acting head coach. 

The Miami Heat have had unprecedented post-season success despite some lacklustre regular seasons in recent years. They have been able to dial up impressive defensive game plans knocking out NBA title favorites Miami and Milwaukee. A big part of that has been their development of undrafted rookies, boasting an impressive track record of Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Orlando Robinson, Omser Yurtseven and Haywood Highsmith. They have also succeeded with reclamation projects like Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson and Caleb Martin (Gulp!). It's difficult to assign all this to Chris Quinn, but as Spoelstra's longstanding top assistant it's obviously he played a significant role.

Coaching weaknesses 

His weaknesses are his lack of experience being a head coach, as well as his lack of experience outside of Miami. While Quinn has proven to be a vital part of the Miami Heat coaching staff and culture, he has not proven he can transfer it to another franchise. While he has not had the opportunity yet to prove he can be head coach of another franchise his lack of experience coaching for any professional team besides Miami is a concern.  


Overall it seems like Quinn is deserving of earning a head coaching opportunity, and having seen the success of “Heat Culture” over the years, and knowing he was a key part of it, makes him an intriguing head coach prospect for the Hornets. However, his lack of experience as a head coach, and his lack of connections to the Hornets organizations, reduces the chance that he will be given his first head coaching opportunity will be in Charlotte.

Patrick Fitzsimmons