Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Sports News

Monty Williams excited to become Hornets coach

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[June 08, 2010]  NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Monty Williams has been hired to coach the New Orleans Hornets and will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Williams, who played at Notre Dame and then for several NBA teams spanning nine seasons, has been an assistant under Portland coach Nate McMillan since 2005.

The Trail Blazers were a playoff team this season after winning 50 games.

"The Hornets have a first-class organization and team; this is the perfect opportunity for me," Williams said in a statement released late Monday. "I am very excited to get started in New Orleans."

This will be the first head coaching position for Williams, one of eight candidates interviewed by the Hornets. Another top candidate was Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, who has agreed to become the next coach of the Chicago Bulls.

Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said they wanted to make sure they interviewed all of the top candidates to "get the best available coach on the market."

"We feel like we succeeded with that objective and now that we have Monty on board, we can concentrate on helping him thrive by continuing to do whatever it takes to make this team better," he said.

Hornets point guard Chris Paul said he was thrilled with the hiring.

"He is one of the great young coaches in this league," Paul said. "I am really excited to be along in his first head coaching journey. He is a perfect fit for our team."

The Hornets went 37-45 this season, missing the playoffs for the first time in three years.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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