Sonics name Carlesimo head coach
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – The Seattle SuperSonics officially hired
P.J. Carlesimo as their new head coach Thursday.
Carlesimo has spent the last five seasons as an assistant under Spurs head
coach Gregg Popovich.
“I am excited to have P.J. as a part of our program,” Sonics general manager
Sam Presti said. “His presence will continue to help build a culture of
success both on and off the floor. The Sonics are getting a true teacher of
the game; his background and defensive philosophy will further establish the
identity for our basketball team.”
After 19 seasons as a head coach on the collegiate level, Carlesimo made the
jump to the NBA when he was named the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers
in the summer of 1994. Carlesimo guided the Trail Blazers to the playoffs for
three straight seasons before he was hired by Golden State.
However, Carlesimo ran into conflict and losing with the Warriors, most
notably the strangling incident with Latrell Sprewell, who was the team’s star
player at the time.
He was fired as Warriors head coach in late December of 1999.
Carlesimo spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Fordham
University, before he was named the head coach at New Hampshire College in
1975. He spent one season with New Hampshire before becoming the head coach at
Wagner College, where he spent six seasons. Carlesimo then made the jump to
Seton Hall University, where he served as head coach for 12 seasons, from 1982
Carlesimo has a collegiate coaching record of 291-272, and has a professional
record of 183-222.
He replaces Bob Hill in Seattle, who was ousted as head coach after the
season. The SuperSonics finished 31-51 last season, losing its last five games
while posting the second worst record in the Western Conference. This was
Seattle’s worst mark for a full season since an identical 31-51 mark in
“I am really excited with the opportunity to come to the Sonics, and I
especially look forward to working with Sam Presti to build a consistent
winner,” Carlesimo said. “I am very impressed with the commitment of ownership
to support a vision of long-term success. We have a talented young nucleus
returning and an outstanding draft class.”