The Phoenix Suns on Tuesday confirmed the hirings of Jerry Sichting, Mike Longabardi, Kenny Gattison and Mark West as assistant coaches on Jeff Hornacek’s staff.
“I’m very excited to complete my coaching staff with such established, well-rounded basketball people,” Hornacek said in a press 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 has 24 years of NBA experience as a player, coach and executive and comes to the Suns’ bench after spending last season with the Washington Wizards. Sichting played 10 NBA seasons before beginning a coaching career that has also included stints with the Timberwolves (1996-2006, 2007-09), Warriors (2010-11) and Marquette University (2006-07). Sichting also spent two seasons in front office roles with the Timberwolves.
Longabardi joins Hornacek’s staff after spending the past six seasons working under Doc Rivers in Boston. Longabardi helped construct one of the league’s most formidable defenses in Boston after spending four seasons (2003-07) in Houston alongside fellow defensive specialist and current Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Longabardi was also an assistant coach for seven seasons in the collegiate ranks, with stops at Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University.
The addition of Gattison is a bit of a reunion; he was drafted by the Suns with the 55th overall pick in 1986, the same year the Suns drafted Hornacek 46th overall. He spent three seasons with the Suns alongside Hornacek and West. Gattison spent the last three seasons as an assistant with the Hawks after stints with the Hornets (2003-09), Nets (1996-99) and Old Dominion University (2001-2003), his alma mater.
West has been key figure in the Suns organization since first coming to the team in a trade from Cleveland in 1988. He played 543 career games over eight seasons with the Suns, five alongside Hornacek, before joining the front office in 2001. He has served as the team’s vice president of player programs since 2006.
The Suns also announced the additions of Irving Roland as a player development assistant and Scott Vaughan as advanced scout. Roland comes to the Suns from his workout start-up Blueprint Basketball, which has worked with such players as Kevin Durant, James Harden and Joe Johnson on skill training and offseason strength and conditioning programs. Vaughan comes with Hornacek from Utah, where he served in an advanced scout role since 2007.