Korn Ferry Lands Timberwolves Head Coach In One Week

April 22, 2016 – Korn Ferry has placed Tom Thibodeau as the new coach and president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The appointment comes just after a week of the team relieved interim coach Sam Mitchell of his duties following the season finale.

Minnesota ended the season with the fifth worst record in the NBA at 29-53. The team missed the playoffs for the last 12 consecutive seasons, the longest active postseason drought in the league.

The Timberwolves selected Mr. Thibodeau over candidates that included ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy and former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Tom Thibodeau back to the Timberwolves,” said Glen Taylor, Minnesota’s owner. “Through this process we quickly identified Tom as the best leader to shape our talented team and help them realize their full potential.”

“Tom’s résumé speaks for itself. He is a proven winner, leader and one of the most well-respected NBA head coaches over the last decade,” said Mr. Taylor. “His teams have annually been among the league leaders in defense, and we are excited about the approach and mentality he will bring to that side of the ball. The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves has never been brighter, and we are very pleased to have Tom as our basketball operations leader moving forward.”

After five successful seasons as coach of the Chicago Bulls, Mr. Thibodeau was fired in 2015 largely because of his inability to work with management. His first NBA coaching job was in Minnesota as an assistant to Bill Musselman in the Wolves’ expansion season of 1989 – 1990.

As part of the search, according to league sources, Korn Ferry also identified new general manager Scott Layden to pair with Mr. Thibodeau. He was the former assistant GM for the San Antonio Spurs.


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Korn Ferry has a highly developed sports practice, today led by Jed Hughes. His relationships within sports and intercollegiate athletics are extensive, having spent 20 years coaching in professional and intercollegiate football and working for five Hall of Fame coaches. The firm’s sports practice has conducted a number of prominent searches in the field, including commissioners for the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), as well as the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Mr. Hughes’ highest profile placements include New York Jets GM John Idzik; Mark Murphy, CEO of the Green Bay Packers; Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12; Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12; and Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke, the athletic director and the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines respectively. He has also conducted searches for the USOC, LPGA, PGA of America, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Arsenal Football Club, Liverpool Football Club, Ohio State, ATP Tour, and Women’s Tennis Association, among others.

Korn Ferry has been active filling head coaching and general manger roles for both professional and colligate sports teams. At the end of the most recent Major League Baseball season, the firm placed David Sterns as general manager of the Milwaukee BrewersKorn Ferry also just recently assisted the Cleveland Browns with the hiring of Hue Jackson as its new head coach.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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