Suns officially announce coach Jeff Hornacek's assistants

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.

  • Polish fan

    Good luck you all :) wush u a good pick n the deaft and reaching the PO

  • Ty-Sun

    Thanks, Polish fan. But I’m hoping for a young, athletic team that doesn’t make the playoffs only because of rookie mistakes/inexperience. If the Suns do somehow make the playoffs next year I hope it is because some younger players develop faster than anyone expected and/or players exceed expectations.

    Even if Sarver was willing to spend recklessly this season, I doubt that any big name free agents would seriously consider signing with the Suns. Next season will be the proving grounds. If the Suns show some potential, then FAs will start to look at Phoenix seriously again.

  • Dan.c133

    Well I’d love either scenario personally. Whose to say that Wiggins doesn’t end up like Shabazz that everybody was drooling over last summer. I don’t remember it as much here but over at BoTS some acted like he walked on water and see how that turned out.

  • Dan.c133

    On the coaching note is Ralph Sampson officially gone? He slugged Sichting in the face during the finals. I know Gortat sure spoke highly of Sampson and the help he received from him.


    lets get this party started…screw up next year w/ youth…get a top pick…THEN a free agent of worth might give us a glimpse..we are finally on the long road to major success…dont do a flim flam ticket sale gambit sarver..take the turnstile hits to build a dynasty…our team still hasnt won it all..but something tells me that if we can stay the course for a few seasons we can have this league by the grapes

  • DBreezy


    Excellent point. While I’m not down on Bazz like others, it’s been a familiar theme that whomever is highly rated coming into their freshman season tends to be over-analyzed and slide by draft day. For every Anthony Davis who makes it through unscathed, there are guys like Bazz, Barnes, Lamb, PJ3, Sully, Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, and so on.

    Next season, I expect that Marcus Smart and Isiah Austin will be unable to live up to expectations and that McAdoo will disappear unless he gets on a great team a la Terence Jones. Parker and Wiggins will also probably fail to live up to expectations although I expect them to be good. There’s less pub on Randle, Gordon, and the Harrison Twins so perhaps they rise.

    Note none of this has to do with how they play, but expectations of what they will do. The same reason that we’re looking at a draft where the lottery is dominated up high by guys: who exceeded low expectations like Porter, CJ, VO, and BMac and guys who haven’t been seen in a long time like Len and Bennett.

    Len didn’t even consistently dominate one phase of the game as a sophomore, yet he’s somehow in consideration for #1 over a guy who did and they’re both injured.

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Yes, but Len did completely dominate over Noel. That’s got to count for something …?