The Phoenix Suns officially hired Jeff Hornacek as their 16th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday, making the team’s 1986 second-round draft pick another player who later became the club’s head coach.
“We are thrilled to introduce Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns,” said Suns general manager Ryan McDonough in a press release. “Jeff has all of the qualities we were looking for in a head coach—he is a leader, a teacher and a student of the game. Jeff’s name has been high on our list ever since my first interview with the Suns. His successes as a player and as an assistant coach, along with his deep ties to this franchise and this community, give us confidence that he will do great things as the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns.”
Hornacek’s ties to the Valley had much to do in the Suns’ confidence in the hire — not to mention the wide respect Hornacek has around the league. He joins the list that includes Danny Ainge, Paul Westphal, Dick Van Arsdale and Frank Johnson of Suns who were players-turned-coaches.
The Suns will hold a press conference on Tuesday to introduce Hornacek.