Jeff Hornacek has come to an agreement with the Phoenix Suns to become the team’s next head coach.
The 14-year NBA veteran and former star for the Suns had been on the coaching staff of the Utah Jazz since 2007. He now will reportedly sign a three-year contract to coach the Suns.
There was some competition for the 50-year-old’s services. Jeff Hornacek had also interviewed for the Charlotte Bobcats head coaching job, but the Suns seemed to have an advantage over others. Hornacek has maintained a home in the Phoenix area, and remains a fan favorite as a Suns player.
Hornacek played six season for the Suns after the team drafted him in 1986. He made an All-Star appearance in 1991-92, a season in which he averaged 20.1 points. After that season he was traded to the Philadephia 76ers in a deal that would bring Charles Barkley to the Suns.
Jeff Hornacek will have quite a task ahead of him as the Phoenix Suns head coach. The team is coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history, a 25-57 record that earned it a last-place finish in the Western Conference. The only worse season for the Suns came in their inaugural season in 1968-69, when they finished 16-66.
The Suns poor start this season led to the dismissal of Alvin Gentry in January, fired in his fourth season with the team. Interim coach Lindsey Hunter failed to perform any better, finishing the season by going 12-29.
The hiring of Jeff Hornacek is part of an overhaul for the Phoenix Suns. The team also let go of general manager Lance Blanks in August 2010 after he failed to reach the heights of the fast-paced era that preceded him. In 2009-10 the Suns had reached the Western Conference finals with Steve Nash and head coach Mike D’Antoni, but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.