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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Distinguished Speaker Series > Jerry Colangelo

Distinguished Speaker Series

Todd DavisJerry Colangelo
Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, USA Basketball, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Topic: Hire Integrity or Pay the Price


About Jerry Colangelo

Jerry Colangelo serves as chairman of the USA Basketball’s Board of Directors and is a principal partner in JDM Partners, LLC, a real estate development company. He first became involved in USA Basketball in 2005 when he was named managing director of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program and subsequently led the U.S. Men’s Team (Beijing 2008) and USA Senior National Team (Istanbul 2010) to gold medals.

Colangelo served for 40 years in a variety of roles for the NBA Phoenix Suns franchise, including general manager, head coach, president, managing general partner, chief executive officer and most recently as chairman. His tenure with one franchise stands as the longest in the NBA. Colangelo’s impact on the game of basketball has been so significant he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. He added to his NBA involvement with a position on the founding committee for the WNBA, helping advance professional women’s basketball in the U.S. The Phoenix Mercury was one of the WNBA’s inaugural teams in 1997.

As Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors from 2001 through 2005, Colangelo had influence on the growth of the NBA as a member of the league’s Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee, and Competition and Rules Committee.

In addition to his basketball legacy, Colangelo is also credited for bringing Major League Baseball to Phoenix in 1998, serving as Chairman and CEO of the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. Moving from an expansion team to MLB champions in just four years was a record for Major League Baseball. Other sports team involvement included bringing National Hockey League’s Winnepeg Jets to Phoenix to become the Phoenix Coyotes.

The author of two books, Colangelo continues to provide valuable insights on competitive sports and the critical skill of leadership. His works include How You Play the Game, Return of the Gold: The Journey of Jerry Colangelo and The Redeem Team.

Colangelo grew up in the Hungry Hill neighborhood of Chicago Heights, where the Jerry Colangelo Gymnasium was dedicated in his honor in 1996. Colangelo and his wife Joan have four children, six granddaughters, and four grandsons.

Return to the Distinguished Speaker Series, or for more information, please contact Marsha Dean at 520.621.2281.