Timberwolves name Ryan Saunders as their next head coach

New POBO Gersson Rosas talks with Dave Lee about the hiring

WCCO Radio Newsroom
May 20, 2019 - 3:27 pm

Just 33 years old, Ryan Saunders is the youngest head coach in the NBA. 

This comes as Saunders held the title as youngest interim head coach in the NBA.

The Timberwolves have removed the “interim” tag from his title and announced that he is now the head coach of the franchise.  Saunders finished last season in charge following the firing of Tom Thibodeau in January. 

A press conference to formally introduce Saunders in his new job begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday and is aired live on WCCO radio.

“Ryan is an excellent communicator and has developed open and trusting relationships with our players,"  said new Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas. "I’ve known Ryan for many years and have always respected his approach to the game, work ethic, basketball knowledge and passion. His coaching style and philosophies are ideal for the modern NBA and I am confident that as a partner he will get the most out of our players as we build an identity and a sustainable winning model.”

Despite winning just 17 of his 42 games, reports of Saunders winning over the locker room and earning the trust of the players remained consistent. Predominantly from superstar Karl Anthony-Towns. 

In statement, Saunders said he wanted to continue build on the positive atmosphere the team established with him as coach.

 “I look forward to building on what we established last season in terms of instilling a positive environment for our players to grow on and off the court. I’m excited to collaborate with Gersson and our staff to build a winning team that we can all be proud of.”  

Saunders is the son of the late Flip Saunders, who passed away in 2015. Flip coached the Wolves on two separate occasions. His first stint began in 1995, and it took just two years to reach the playoffs for the first time in team Wolves history. 

Like his dad, Ryan also played college basketball at the University of Minnesota. 

Saunders’ hiring wasn’t the only news of note from Monday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team has also hired an assistant general manager. 

For news, information and reaction on the Saunders hiring, follow News Talk 830 WCCO's Henry Lake on Twitter.  

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