Flip Saunders hasn’t slipped on a University of Minnesota uniform since 1977, but he’s still having a major impact on the state’s basketball landscape.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday that Saunders, who has served as the franchise’s president of basketball operations since last season, will take to the sidelines to replace former head coach Rick Adelman, who retired in April. Saunders will remain president of basketball operations while coaching.
The Cleveland native is also a Timberwolves minority owner and will have to juggle multiple responsibilities.
“I went to [the] University of Minnesota as a business major in marketing and management,” Saunders said at a press conference June 6. “Part of doing that is being able to do a lot of different things at the same time.”
Saunders, who previously coached the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005, had more than a month to conduct a coaching search, and he called it a learning experience.
Saunders reportedly interviewed a variety of candidates, from NBA veterans to college coaches.
Before his time with the NBA, Saunders played basketball at the University from 1973 to 1977 and later returned as an assistant coach for the team for five seasons. He also reportedly passed up the Gophers men’s head coaching job last year.