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Nuggets Name George Karl Head Coach

COOPER TO RETURN TO HIS PREVIOUS ROLE AS ASSISTANT

George Karl is the 13th winningest coach in NBA history.
Mitchell Layton/NBAE/Getty Images
January 27, 2005, DENVER, CO — The Denver Nuggets have named George Karl head coach, team General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe announced today. Interim Head Coach Michael Cooper will resume his previous role as assistant coach.

“We are very excited to be adding a coach of George’s stature to our organization,” said Vandeweghe. “He has won everywhere he has been and his track record speaks for itself.

“We also want to commend Michael for the job he did under difficult circumstances.”

Karl, the 13th winningest coach in NBA history, has compiled a career record of 708-499 (.587) in 16 years as an NBA head coach. He began his NBA head coaching career with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1984-86. He also coached in Golden State (1986-88), Seattle (1991-98) and Milwaukee (1998-03).

Karl’s teams have captured five division titles and have advanced to the postseason 13 times. He guided the Sonics to more than 60 wins three times in five years (1993-98) and the NBA Finals in 1996. He also made two other trips to the conference finals with the Sonics in 1993 and the Bucks in 2001.

In 1991-92, he inherited a Sonics club with a 20-20 record that went 27-15 the rest of the way. The Sonics then beat Golden State in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Utah in the conference semifinals.

Karl earned three Coach of the Year honors in the CBA (1981, ’83 and ’91), where he compiled a record of 176-66 in five years. He also served as the head coach for Real Madrid of the Spanish League (1989-90 and 1991-January ’92).

Originally a fourth round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1973, Karl played five professional seasons (1973-78) with the San Antonio Spurs – the first three in the ABA and the last two in the NBA.