Bower to return as GM, head-coach search begins

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

The New Orleans Hornets will have a new head coach in 2010-11. Their general manager will remain the same. That was the essence of the news the team announced this afternoon.

After holding both duties for the final 73 games of 2009-10, Jeff Bower will return to his previous role in the organization as solely the club’s general manager. He has been the franchise’s GM for the past five seasons, a stretch in which New Orleans went from 18 wins in 2004-05 to its first division title in 2007-08. Bower has held the position for the duration of Chris Paul’s pro career.

The Hornets will immediately start their search for the new head coach.

“Jeff stepped in to coach in a difficult situation and did a phenomenal job this season serving both roles as head coach and general manager,” Hornets President Hugh Weber said in a press release. “We had a lot of setbacks with injuries but still competed every night even though our players missed a total of 230 games due to injury. This move allows Jeff to fully focus as the team’s general manager and build off of our great draft success of last season. He has been a valued part of shaping our franchise for a long time and we feel fortunate that Jeff will continue in a major role as GM. We will continue to supplement and evaluate our resources on the basketball side so we can compete and maximize our personnel decisions at the highest level.”

“First off, I want to thank the Hornets organization for their belief in me to serve as both head coach and general manager for the majority of the 2009-10 season,” Bower said. “I look forward to the challenges ahead as GM and to build off the positives from this season and the previous seasons in the draft and free agency.”