Gar Heard was named head coach of the Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 1993, upon the dismissal of Richie Adubato.
Heard had a very successful college playing career at the University of Oklahoma. His record of 21 double/doubles in 1969-1970 stood in the Sooner record books until Blake Griffin finally beat it in 2008-2009.
Drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the third round of the 1970 NBA draft, Heard played eleven season before retiring in 1981. He had career-highs of 15.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in 1973-1974 with the Buffalo Braves. He may be best known, however, for a buzzer beater he made to send game 5 of the 1976 Phoenix Suns/Boston Celtics Championship series into a third overtime.
In the game's second overtime Boston thought they had hit the game winning shot. However there was one second remaining on the clock and, after catching the inbounds pass. Heard shot a high-arching 20-foot jumper that went in, sending the game to an improbable third overtime. The Celtics, however, did go on to win the game and ultimately the series, 4-2.
Following his retirement as a player in 1981, Heard began his coaching career as an assistant at Arizona State University. After one season with the Sun Devils, Heard went into the commercial real estate business in the Phoenix area.
"After my year at ASU I knew I wanted to get back into coaching," Heard said. "I attended most of the Suns games but I looked at things as a coach. I had a different perspective after coaching for a year."
A few years later that opportunity presented itself when he became an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under John MacLeod. His relationship with MacLeod went back to 1966 when both were part of the University of Oklahoma freshman program. Both MacLeod as coach and Heard as a sophomore, moved up the varsity together the next season.
Heard later played four-plus years for MacLeod in Phoenix. He joined MacLeod's staff on August 21, 1987. Following MacLeod's dismissal he remained on the staff under head coach Richie Adubato and succeeded him as head coach in 1992. He finished out the 1992-1993 season going 9-44 over the year's final 53 games.
Heard had one additional stint as a head coach succeeding interim coach Jim Drovelli during the 1999-2000 season with the Washington Bullets. This time he posted a record of 14-30 before being fired on January 29, 2000 after Michael Jordan had become part owner of the franchise.
In 2004-2005, he served as an assistant on Larry Brown's staff with the Detroit Pistons.