The Washington Wizards made it official, hiring Wes Unseld Jr. as the team’s new head coach to a reported four-year contract per ESPN.
Unseld Jr. becomes the 25th head coach for the Wizards, taking over from fired head coach Scott Brooks.
OFFICIAL: We've named Wes Unseld Jr. the 25th head coach in franchise history.
Welcome home, Coach! #DCAboveAll
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 17, 2021
Unseld Jr. now joins the same team his father, Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, led to their only title in 1978 when the then-Washington Bullets defeated the Seattle SuperSonics.
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard welcomed Unseld Jr. to the team.
“Wes is one of the most highly-regarded assistant coaches in the NBA and clearly separated himself from the large and diverse group of candidates we considered,” said Sheppard. “His strong record as an in-game tactician along with his attention to detail on both sides of the ball, combined with his reputation for player development and outstanding character during his 20+ years of coaching, left no doubt that he was the best choice to guide our team to the next level.”
Unseld Jr. thanked Sheppard and Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis for giving him the opportunity.
“Becoming a head coach in the NBA is a goal that I have pursued my entire adult life, and to have that dream realized by coming full circle back to Washington is truly special. I look forward to representing the DMV, connecting with our fans, and establishing a new standard for Wizards basketball.”
Unseld Jr. worked as an assistant for the Wizards, the Golden State Warriors, and the Orlando Magic before joining the Nuggets.
He spent six seasons with the Nuggets moving to associate head coach last season.
The rookie coach will now take on a team that made some strides last season with new addition Russell Westbrook and three-time All-Star Bradley Beal.
Unseld Jr. is the seventh Black head coach hired out of eight head coaching positions open.