(Reuters) - The Phoenix Suns named Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach on Tuesday, hoping the former player can turn around a struggling team coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Hornacek, who will be introduced later on Tuesday, had been serving as an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz and will replace interim Suns coach Lindsey Hunter, who took over the team when Alvin Gentry and the club agreed to part ways in January.
The 50-year-old Hornacek, who spent the first six NBA seasons of a 14-year playing career in Phoenix, faces a daunting rebuilding job after the Suns (25-57) finished last in the Western Conference with their second-worst record ever.
“I‘m really excited to have gotten Jeff as our head coach,” Sun General Manager Ryan McDonough, who has been in charge for just three weeks, said on the team’s website.
“For a guy who has not yet been a head coach in the NBA, he has a very diverse skillset, and a lot of experience that he brings to the Suns, so I am thrilled that he is going to be our next head coach.”
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue