Family is very important to Steve Kerr, and he is close to the three kids he shares with his wife of over 30 years, Margot Brennan Kerr. The Golden State Warriors coach was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Malcolm and Ann Kerr. When he was a toddler, the Kerrs moved to California, where he grew up with his three siblings, Susan, John and Andrew.
Here’s what you need to know about Steve Kerr’s family:
1. Steve Kerr Was the 3rd of 4 Children Born to Malcolm and Ann Kerr & He Was Born in Beirut, Lebanon
Kerr’s paternal grandparents were Stanley and Elsa Kerr, American missionaries who lived in Lebanon. Stanley Kerr worked for American Near East Relief in Turkey while Elsa Kerr was in Istanbul to teach and study Turkish. The couple married in 1921 and moved to Lebanon, where they taught at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the New York Times reported. Kerr’s father Malcolm was one of their four kids.
Malcolm Kerr attended school in the U.S. and graduated from Princeton, then returned to Beirut for his graduate studies at AUB, where he met his future wife Ann Zwicker. Zwicker was a California college student who was studying abroad, the publication wrote.
The couple married and had four children. Susan, John and Steve Kerr were born in Beirut, then the family moved to Pacific Palisades, California, where Andrew was born. Malcolm Kerr worked at UCLA but frequently returned to the Middle East.
Kerr, who grew up shooting basketballs in his driveway, traveled with his family to the Middle East and spent two years of school in Cairo, Egypt. He told the Times that he didn’t always love their family trips because he would miss basketball camps and other sporting events. In 1982, Malcolm Kerr was named the AUB president.
At the time, Lebanon was in the middle of a civil war. Kerr’s sister Susan wrote in her memoir titled “One Family’s Response to Terrorism” that their father told her that there was a 50/50 chance he’d get “bumped off early on,” the Times reported. Kerr, who’d remained in the U.S., visited his parents in Beirut in December 1983. He’d just started college at the University of Arizona and he had videotapes of his first college basketball game that his parents could watch.
Kerr’s brother John wrote that he’d scored three baskets and the family rewatched them all multiple times, “rewinding the tape over and over again just to relish every detail,” he said, according to the Times. His parents were scholars, not athletes, and Kerr was the exception in the family with his passion for basketball.
2. Steve Kerr’s Father Malcolm Kerr Was Assassinated in January 1984 at His Office at the American University of Beirut
Tragedy struck the Kerr family on January 18, 1984, when Malcolm Kerr was shot twice in the back of his head just as he stepped out of the elevator at his office in AUB. The two gunmen escaped and a group called Islamic Holy War, who fought against the American presence in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kerr was 18 years old and in his freshman year at the University of Arizona when his father was killed. He received a phone call from the AUB vice president, a family friend, in the middle of the night telling him about his father’s assassination. “I’m grateful I had him for 18 years,” Kerr told Mercury News about his father. “I feel his full impact on my whole life. It’s there every day.”
Malcolm Kerr’s ashes were buried at AUB under a tree, where the Kerr family had a column installed to mark the spot. “In memory of Malcolm H. Kerr, 1931-1984,” it states. “He lived life abundantly… We are proud that our dad and husband came to A.U.B.”
As for Kerr’s mother, she remarried in 2008 and now goes by Ann Kerr-Adams. She works as the coordinator of the Fulbright program at UCLA and she’s a trustee emerita at AUB, as well as the author of several books and articles on the Middle East, her AUB bio states.
Kerr’s sister Susan obtained a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies and a doctorate in education from Harvard University. She is married and now lives in Cambridge, England, where she teaches creative writing to primary school children, according to her author’s bio.
Kerr’s older brother John is a professor of community sustainability at Michigan State, having received his Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford in 1990. The youngest of the siblings, Andrew Kerr, works for an architectural design and residential builder in Washington. He received an MBA at the University of Arizona and previously worked for the National Security Council at the White House, his bio states.
3. Steve Kerr Said His Father Taught Him a Lot About Controlling His Emotions & His Upbringing Shaped Him Into the Coach & Father He Is Now
Kerr said he learned a lot of lessons from his father that he took into coaching. He confessed to Mercury News that he had a “horrible temper” when he was growing up and would throw tantrums if games didn’t go his way.
He said that his father didn’t lecture him or yell at him when that would happen but he was really patient and waited for Kerr to calm down before they talked. “My dad taught me a lot about emotions, controlling my temper and being even-keeled,” he said.
He said his parents were both great providers but he took on a lot of his father’s personality: quiet and thoughtful but with a deep passion and sharp wit below the surface. He said his global upbringing taught him compassion and their political dinner-table conversations made him “gain perspective.”
“He set such a good example,” Kerr told Mercury News about his father’s parenting style. “I’ve tried to be the same way with my kids.” He also said it “helped with teammates when I was a player and now as a coach.”
4. Steve Kerr’s Wife Is Margot Kerr & They Met When He Was a Sophomore at the University of Arizona
Kerr met his wife on a blind date when they were both in their second year at the University of Arizona. Margot Kerr, née Brennan, was born in Tucson, Arizona. Like Kerr, she grew up the daughter of a professor and an author and she has three siblings.
After dating for a couple of years in college, Steve and Margot Kerr continued their relationship long-distance as she worked in Los Angeles and Kerr was drafted into the NBA by the Phoenix Suns. They got married a couple of years later, once Kerr was in Cleveland, and had three kids together. The couple spoke with In My Court about their fairly nomadic life during that time as they didn’t know how long Kerr would be able to keep playing in the NBA and where his next contract would be.
Margot Kerr said when they moved to Chicago in the fall of 1993, Kerr didn’t have a guaranteed spot on the team. The couple and their oldest son Nick, who was around 10 months at the time, were living in a hotel. “All three of us in one room, a little baby nine or 10 months old,” she shared with NBA.com. “It was interesting. But we were so worried. We had to every week tell the front desk if we were going to be there another week, something like that.”
In 2016, Margot Kerr said she’s still shocked when she looks at their journey together. “I can’t even believe all this,” she told NBA.com. That said, she told In My Court that their journey has been “unexpected, but incredibly rewarding and really, really fun.”
Kerr said he feels really lucky to be with his wife as she’s been a partner for him “in terms of building our lives, building our family, going through the journey together.”
5. Steve Kerr Has 3 Children & the Family Is Very Close
Margot and Steve Kerr have three children who are grown up now. Their eldest is Nick Kerr, who grew up like his father with a passion for basketball. Kerr shared that his son used to watch his NBA games in person from a very young age and was always captivated by what was going on on the court.
He played basketball through high school and college, attending the University of San Diego for business administration from 2011 to 2015, and he developed an interest in coaching even during his schooling.
His coach at USD, Bill Grier, said Nick Kerr was an integral part of the basketball program off the bench as he was involved in recruiting and his knowledge of the game was really good, he told “WCC This Week.” After working for the Golden State Warriors as a video coordinator for a few years, Nick Kerr now works as an assistant coach with the Santa Cruz Warriors, his LinkedIn states.
The Kerrs’ second child, a daughter named Maddy Kerr, has often spoken about her family and growing up in the spotlight. She attended the University of California, Berkeley from 2013 to 2017, where she studied media studies and rhetoric and played on the school’s volleyball team. In her final three years at Berkeley, she was also the captain of the volleyball team and shared some humorous anecdotes about her life in her Cal Volleyball blog called “Kerr’s Korner.”
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she studied law at Berkeley and graduated with a JD in 2021. Public records show that Kerr’s daughter was admitted to the State Bar of California in January 2023 and now works for Gunderson Dettmer.
The youngest Kerr is Matthew Kerr, who followed a different path from his older siblings. Matthew Kerr has shared that he’s not interested in sports although he is still competitive and will follow the Warriors games to support his father. Instead, he’s pursued a more creative career and studied screenwriting and comedy TV writing at USC film school. Recently, Kerr worked as a writing assistant on the hit TV show “Ted Lasso,” which he said was an amazing experience.
While speaking with the Athletic, Matthew Kerr said he knew from a young age that he wanted to work in writing. “I really just knew forever that I wanted to write for it, specifically, since I was like 6 years old,” he said. “I would watch ‘The Simpsons’ and just be like, ‘One day, I want to do that.’” He also shared that he’s interested in acting and performing and did improv while he was in college.