Legendary team coach gets new role within the franchise.
Flip Saunders, who coached the Minnesota Timberwolves over parts of 10 seasons, was named Friday as the NBA club’s new president of basketball operations.
Saunders, who also takes a minority ownership stake in the T-Wolves, replaced David Kahn after the team decided not to pick up the option on his contract to stay in the top decision-making post regarding player personnel.
“We are thrilled to have Flip back with the Timberwolves organization,” T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor said.
“Flip is one of the more experienced and creative minds in basketball. He knows what it takes to win in the NBA and we are confident that he will do what is necessary to lead us to a return to our best days as an organization.”
The Timberwolves failed to reach the playoffs in Khan’s four seasons in charge.
Saunders, 58, coached the team between 1995-2005 when Minnesota reached its heights, with four 50-game seasons in that span including a club-record 58-24 run in 2003-04, when the Timberwolves reached the Western Conference finals.
But after a 25-26 start the following season, Saunders was fired. He then coached the Detroit Pistons to three Central division titltes in a row from 2006-2008. He most recently spent more than two seasons coaching Washington.
“I’m excited to be back with the Timberwolves,” Saunders said. “My goal is to help the Wolves achieve the success that we experienced during my first tenure with this organization.
“We have a strong nucleus in place and will look to add assets that will allow us to make the playoffs and eventually compete for an NBA championship.”