The Suns officially announced the hiring of their assistant coaching staff that includes Mark West, Jerry Sichting, Kenny Gattison and Mike Longabardi. They also added Irving Roland as a player development assistant and Scott Vaughan as an advanced video scout.
“I’m very excited to complete my coaching staff with such established, well-rounded basketball people,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek in a team release. “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.”
Sichting, the lead assistant, has spent his time in the NBA from front offices to benches following his 10-year NBA playing career. He has coached with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.
The nabbing of Longabardi is a big get for the Suns considering the Celtics’ defensive outputs the last few years and the now-forgone possibility that Longabardi could join Doc Rivers’ staff in Los Angeles. Longabardi essentially filled the role Tom Thibodeau left when he took the Bulls coaching job — Boston was third in opponent field goal defense in 2010-11 and first in opponent field goal defense in 2011-12 before the dropoff this past season.
Gattison was the Suns second-round draft pick in 1986 and was the 55th overall pick. He followed up Phoenix’s selection of Hornacek and played with the Suns’ first-year coach to begin his NBA career. Gattison also played with West at Old Dominion.
West, of course, joined the Suns as a piece of the Kevin Johnson trade in 1988 and enjoyed a 17-year NBA career. He has been Phoenix’s Vice President of Player programs since 2006.
Roland started a basketball skills training serving, BluePrint Basketball, and has also served in video coordinator positions in Boston and New Orleans.
Vaughan has experience as a scout with the Utah Jazz, where he’s been since 2007.