Jazz News

Jazz Names Michael Sanders Manager of Player Development

SALT LAKE CITY (December 8, 2011) – The Utah Jazz announced today that Michael Sanders has been hired as the team’s manager of player development. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Sanders joins the Jazz after spending the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

A veteran of the coaching ranks, Sanders originally began his coaching career in 1998 as an assistant coach with the Wisconsin Blast of the International Basketball Association before becoming head coach of the IBA’s Black Hills Gold for the 1999-00 season. In 2000-01 he then became head coach of the United State Basketball League’s Washington Congressionals. In 2000-01 Sanders joined the Detroit Pistons an assistant coach.

The following season he joined the D-League’s Asheville Altitude where he would spend four years as an assistant coach and director of player personnel, helping to lead the franchise to D-League championships in 2004 and 2005. During his time with the Altitude, Sanders also spent three off seasons with the USBL’s Adirondack Wildcats as the team’s head coach (2002-2004). In 2005, Sanders returned to the NBA, joining the Milwaukee Buck’s staff as an assistant coach for two seasons. He then served as an assistant coach and advance scout with the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2007-08 campaign.

Prior to his coaching career, Sanders played 11 seasons in the NBA for four teams – San Antonio (1982-83), Phoenix (1983-88), Cleveland (1987-89, ’91-93) and Indiana (1989-92). Originally selected in the fourth round (74th overall) of the 1982 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings, Sanders appeared in 648 career games (209 starts) and averaged 8.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.1 minutes. While in Phoenix, he was teammates with current Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek from 1986-88, before Sanders was traded to Cleveland on February 25, 1988 in a five-player deal that involved current Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin as part of the package the Suns received. In February of 2010, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer ranked Sanders 29th on a list of the 40 Greatest Cavaliers of All-Time.

A four-year player at UCLA, Sanders was a member of the 1980 Bruins team that reached the NCAA Championship Game under the guidance of head coach Larry Brown, who at the time was assisted by current Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor.

A native of Vidalia, La., and member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Sanders received a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA. Sanders has two children, a son, Lamar and a daughter, Kendra. Sanders and his wife, Bridget, reside in Plano, Texas.