The San Antonio Spurs announced tonight that Peter Holt has retired as chairman and CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment—the company that owns the Spurs and a number of other San Antonio-area sports teams—which Holt has led since 1996. He will be replaced by his wife, Julianna Hawn Holt, who will also take his seat on the NBA’s Board of Governors.
Under Peter Holt, the Spurs became the best run franchise in basketball—and probably all of sports—especially when you consider their small market size. One only needs to look at how well they’re transitioning into the post-Duncan era to see how smart the organization is. Holt let then-GM Gregg Popovich fire Bob Hill in the middle of the 1996-97 season, and take over Hill’s role as head coach. He also promoted R.C. Buford to team president and eventually general manager. Under Popovich and Buford the Spurs have qualified for the playoffs every season since I was in third grade, have won five NBA titles, and have a decent shot at winning their sixth this year.
Peter Holt, 67, will continue to be involved behind the scenes, but the fact that he is giving up his Board of Governors seat to Julianna Hawn Holt signals how much less influence he plans to exert. If Spurs fans are a little bit nervous, they have every right to be: Peter Holt hired capable and smart people, signed the checks, and stayed the hell out of the way. With the best coach-GM combo in the league and a top ten player, Julianna Hawn Holt would be wise to do the same.
h/t Sean Highkin