Vice President / Assistant General Manager
Gary Fitzsimmons is in his third season with the Hawks, and his first as Vice President/Assistant General Manager. He assists Billy Knight in all facets of the day-to-day direction of the basketball operations department, including salary cap analysis as well as all player transactions, both amateur and professional.
Associated with the game his entire life, Gary is the son of the late Hawks and Phoenix Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons, who passed away in July, 2004 from a lengthy illness. Gary has more than 26 years of experience in the NBA, and as a college player at Southern Illinois University.
While a member of the SIU basketball team, Fitzsimmons was a teammate of former Hawks Mike Glenn and Joe C. Meriweather, and prior to his senior season, he joined the coaching staff as an assistant and earned a degree in administration of justice.
Following his graduation in 1978, he began his tenure in the NBA as a scout with the Kansas City Kings and one year later was named an assistant coach. After six seasons on the sidelines with Kansas City — where he served under his father's tutelage and coached the likes of Otis Birdsong and Eddie Johnson, as well as current Hawks GM Billy Knight and head coach Mike Woodson — Fitzsimmons joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach and chief scout in 1984 (his father was the Spurs head man for two seasons, 1984-86).
He worked in that capacity with the Spurs until 1986, when he assumed the position of Director of Player Personnel with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs reached the playoffs in eight of the
11 seasons Fitzsimmons spent in Ohio.
He has been associated with 16 playoff teams, including the 1980-81 Kings, who made it to the Western Conference Finals and the 1991-92 Cavaliers, who challenged the eventual World Champion Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Heavily involved in the drafting or draft night acquisition of many outstanding players into the NBA, including point guards Terrell Brandon, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price and Brevin Knight, Fitzsimmons has also encouraged trades which have netted such players as Billy Knight (twice), Mike Woodson, current Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew, Tyrone Hill, Larry Nance and Dan Majerle. As Golden State’s primary scout (collegiate, international and NBA) and resident salary cap expert/manager, he also organized the club’s annual summer league roster and preseason schedule. With the Warriors, he played an integral role in the acquisitions of Antawn Jamison, Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy, Gilbert Arenas and Mike Dunleavy.
A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, the 52-year-old enjoys traveling and following the St. Louis Cardinals. Fitzsimmons also enjoys spending time outdoors and is an avid runner. He has a son, Timothy Ryan (18), and a daughter, Kelley Lynne (16).