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Timberwolves name Ryan Saunders permanent head coach

FILE - In this March 9, 2019, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders directs his players against the Washington Wizards in an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. Photo: (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
FILE - In this March 9, 2019, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders directs his players against the Washington Wizards in an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis.

May 20, 2019 03:17 PM

Ryan Saunders has been named as the permanent head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team announced Monday afternoon.

RELATED: Wolves interim coach Ryan Saunders: 'I look forward to the challenge'

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The news was first reported by ESPN Monday morning. Saunders, who had been an assistant coach with the team, is the son of late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders.

“Ryan is an excellent communicator and has developed open and trusting relationships with our players," Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas released in a statement. "I’ve known Ryan for many years and have always respected his approach to the game, work ethic, basketball knowledge and passion. His coaching style and philosophies are ideal for the modern NBA and I am confident that as a partner he will get the most out of our players as we build an identity and a sustainable winning model.”

Saunders, 33, is the youngest head coach in the NBA. 

He was named interim coach when the team fired president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau in January. The Timberwolves went 17-25 in his 42 games coaching the team last season.

RELATED: Timberwolves hire Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations

KSTP's Darren Wolfson reports the move comes after new president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, interviewed Juwan Howard, Chris Finch and Darwin Ham last week in Chicago. Another candidate, David Vanterpool, interviewed over the phone.


 

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