Bucks name Scott Skiles head coach
April 21, 2008
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“Scott is a proven NBA head coach who has shown an ability to win,” said Hammond. “He was a passionate player at all levels of the game and that thirst for success has served him well as a coach. We look forward to what he will bring to this franchise and we welcome him and his family to Milwaukee.”
Skiles, 44, has amassed an overall record of 281-251 (.528) as an NBA head coach, which includes stints with the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns. He was hired as head coach of the Bulls on November 28, 2003, and inherited a 4-12 team. Following that season, he went on to guide the team to three consecutive seasons of better than 40 wins (45.7 average) and three postseason appearances, which followed a six-year playoff drought for Chicago. The Bulls won 49 games in 2006-07, their most since they went 62-20 in ’97-98, and swept the defending NBA champion Miami Heat 4-0 in the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs.
“Scott Skiles is at the very top of the coaching profession,” said Bucks President Herb Kohl. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision and I know our fans will join me in welcoming Scott as our new head coach.”
The Plymouth, Indiana native received his first NBA head coaching assignment with the Phoenix Suns in 1999 when Danny Ainge resigned 20 games into the 1999-00 season. Skiles guided the Suns to a 40-22 mark the remainder of the year and his squad went on to upset the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2000 NBA playoffs. The following year, he guided the Suns to a 51-31 record and again made the postseason. In his eight seasons with the Suns and Bulls, Skiles has coached in five NBA postseasons (35 games, 15-20 record). He was originally hired as an assistant coach to Danny Ainge in Phoenix, a post he held for two-plus seasons. Prior to that he served as the head coach of PAOK in Greece. Overall he has coached in professional basketball for 11 seasons, 10 in the NBA as a head coach or assistant coach and one season in Greece.
“I want to thank Senator Kohl and John Hammond for giving me this opportunity,” said Skiles. “There is an enormous depth of young talent on this team and the future is promising. I’m ready to work with John and the entire organization to bring a winning team back to Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and its passionate fans.”
Skiles enjoyed a 10-year NBA playing career and appeared in 600 career games (371 starts) with Milwaukee, Indiana, Orlando, Washington and Philadelphia. He was drafted by the Bucks in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1986 NBA Draft and played 13 games in Milwaukee during his rookie season. He maintained career averages of 11.1 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds over those 10 seasons. He set an NBA single-game record (that still stands) when he passed for 30 assists on December 30, 1990 while with Orlando, and his 88.9 career free throw percentage is the 6th-best in NBA history. He was named the NBA’s Most Improved player following the 1990-91 campaign when he averaged a career-best 17.2 points and 8.4 assists with the Orlando Magic.
The former Spartan was an All-American at Michigan State University under Jud Heathcote. He left as the school’s all-time leading scorer when he graduated in 1986 (2,145 points, which currently ranks 3rd) and had his number 4 jersey retired and was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in September of 2007.
Skiles had his number 22 jersey retired at Plymouth High School (Indiana) in 1992. As a senior, he scored 39 points in the state finals to lead Plymouth to the Indiana State Championship in 1982. Scott is married to his wife, Kim. He has two sons, Scott, Jr. and Sean, and one daughter, Shelby.