PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers hired Terry Stotts as head coach on Tuesday, filling the NBA’s last coaching vacancy.
The 54-year-old Stotts had a 115-168 record as coach of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks before spending the past four seasons as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks. He inherits a team that fell drastically short of expectations last season and heads into the new campaign with a roster that includes forwards LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, and a lot of question marks.
“Terry is one of the elite offensive minds in the NBA, has extensive experience with multiple organizations and was instrumental in the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA championship,” general manager Neil Olshey said. “He understands the vision for the future of the franchise, appreciates the process involved and will create an environment on the court that will produce championship habits.”
Stotts replaces Kaleb Canales, who went 8-15 in an interim role after Nate McMillan was fired.
Stotts and Canales emerged as the finalists for the permanent job, and the men reportedly interviewed with owner Paul Allen over the weekend at the London Olympics. Canales has been in the Trail Blazers organization since 2005. It is unclear if he will remain with the club.
“I’m very pleased to be part of a great franchise in a beautiful city with a such a proud history,” Stotts said in a news release. “I look forward to working hard with Neil and our players toward the ultimate goal of bringing another championship to Portland.”
Before becoming a head coach, Stotts was an assistant under George Karl for six years in Seattle and four with Milwaukee.
He played college ball at Oklahoma and was drafted in the second round by the Houston Rockets in 1980.