Former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy reveals wife’s cause of death nearly a year after unexpected passing

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This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.

Nearly a year after the unexpected death of his wife, former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy opened up about the grieving process and revealed her cause of death was suicide. 

Van Gundy, who last coached in 2021 with the New Orleans Pelicans, spoke about the passing of his wife Kim, who died in August 2023 at age 61. 

Stan Van Gundy and wife Kim (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

“She took her own life,” Van Gundy shared on the “South Beach Sessions” podcast with sports media personality Dan Le Batard. “I don’t care how long it goes. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get over that. It was devastating.”


Van Gundy spoke in detail about the grieving process after reflecting on their 35-year marriage, adding that for the majority of his adult life, she was always by his side.   

“I never, ever envisioned that I was going to live another day in my life without Kim, never envisioned that. I knew she was going through a tough time, but I still never envisioned that happening. Even now, it’s been eight months, and I struggle to come to grips with the fact that I’m never going to see her again and … I’m trying hard to stay connected.”

Stan Van Gundy speaks before the NBA playoffs

TNT analyst Stan Van Gundy speaks before Game 1 of the Western Conference finals of the 2024 NBA Playoffs May 22, 2024, at Target Center in Minneapolis.  (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)


Van Gundy explained he regularly goes to therapy but still struggles with his personal feelings about the situation and the reality of her struggles with mental illness. 

“I was blessed with an unbelievable woman and a great family, and my responsibility in life, my primary responsibility, was and is to this day was to take care of those five people in every way possible,” he said. 

“My wife reached a point of despair and hopelessness and whatever else where her life and her life with me was not worth living anymore. And my responsibility was to take care of her and to give her a great life, and I failed in that.”   


Van Gundy met his wife in 1984 at Castleton State College in Vermont, now known as Castleton University, when she was a student and he became the head basketball coach.

Stan Van Gundy during an NBA broadcast

TNT analyst Stan Van Gundy smiles during a Sacramento Kings-New York Knicks game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., March 9, 2023. (John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

He said he now tries to live every day in a way that would make her proud. 

“Her values were better than mine. She taught me a lot. And I want to live her values and a life that she would be proud of,” Van Gundy said. 

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