On Tuesday the Phoenix Suns announced their assistant coaching staff along side new head coach Jeff Hornacek as well as scouting additions. Joining Hornacek’s coaching staff includes: Jerry Sichting, Mike Longabardi, Kenny Gattison and Mark West. The Scouting additions include: Irving Roland as a player development assistant and Scott Vaughn as advance scout.
“I’m very excited to complete my coaching staff with such established, well-rounded basketball people,” said new Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. “We were able to add offensive minds, defensive minds, former players and experienced coaches. What they all have in common is a willingness to work hard, communicate well, and help our players and our team get better every day.”
Jerry Sichting has 24-year career as an NBA player, coach and executive leading up to his new job with the Suns. He was most recently an assistant with the Washington Wizards. Most notable, he was an assistant under Flip Saunders and helped lead Minnesota to its first winning season (1997-98), first 50-win season (1999-00), first playoff appearance (1996-97) and to the first Western Conference Finals in team history (2003-04). He played 10 years in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks.
After six seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers, Mike Longabardi joins the Suns’ bench. He was first brought onto the Celtics staff prior to the 2007-08 season and was a part of the great championship and playoff runs the Celtics went on. Similar to Suns GM Ryan McDonough, Longabardi started off in the film room as a video coordinator with the Houston Rockets back in 2005. He has also coached on the collegiate level as well.
There were reports that Hornecek would bring on former teammates to his staff. The first is one who was drafted by the Suns in the same year. In 1986, Hornecek was drafted in the second round, 46th overall by the Suns. In that same draft, Kenny Gattison was selected in the third round 55th overall. He spent three seasons from 1986-89 with the Suns before finishing his nine year playing career with the Hornets and Grizzlies. Most recently, Gattison served as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks from 2010-12 and prior was part of the coaching staffs in New Orleans, New Jersey and for his alma matter, Old Dominion University.
The other former Hornecek teammate joining the staff is a beloved member of the Suns and someone who has been with the organization for 20 years, Mark West. He spent eight seasons with the Suns as a player and the last 12 in the front office. West was originally acquired by the Suns via trade with the Cavaliers which also brought over more of the best Suns of all time, Kevin Johnson in 1988. He originally joined the Suns executive staff in 2001, has served as the team’s Vice President of Player Programs since 2006, responsible for player relations and development, business of basketball training, and community representation.
Irving Roland joins the Suns as player development assistant from his individual workout start-up, Blueprint Basketball which he founded in 2011 with two colleagues. It focuses on basketball skill-training and offseason strength and conditioning for a roster of athletes that included such names as Kevin Durant, James Harden, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack and Mario Chalmers.
The Suns’ new advance scout, Scott Vaughn joins Phoenix after serving in the same role with the Utah Jazz since 2007. There he aided the preparation of a coaching staff that included Hornacek.
The Suns now have their staff in place as the Draft is days away and the free agency period approaches.