T-Wolves Name President Flip Saunders Coach
The Minnesota Timberwolves said it plans to officially announce its new head coach at a press conference Friday afternoon, but reports surfaced Thursday indicating that President and part-owner Flip Saunders will replace the recently retired Rick Adelman.
Saunders will maintain his front office work in addition to his coaching role, joining a select few NBA coaches that also have top-level executive authority.
Adelman, 67, announced he was retiring from coaching in April after spending three years with the Timberwolves. At the time, Saunders was among the top potential candidates to replace him, a list that also included Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, and TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy, among others.
Saunders and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor reportedly met last week to discuss the coaching role and although Taylor already fired Saunders from the job once—in 2005, due in part to the fallout from contract disputes with two players—the two decided Saunders should take on the role for at least the upcoming season.
For an in-depth look at how Taylor has worked to transform the Timberwolves, read Twin Cities Business’ in-depth profile on the team’s owner. Taylor also recently generated headlines when he committed to purchasing the Star Tribune, for roughly $100 million.
Although Saunders reportedly wanted to find someone other than himself to take over, the uncertainty with the team’s roster—as star player Kevin Love’s possible trade status remains in limbo—prevented Taylor and Saunders from pursuing all the coaches they would have liked to.
Saunders was head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005, taking the franchise to all eight of its total playoff appearances.
Reports did not specify how long Saunders planned to remain head coach.