Suns Name Shumate Assistant Coach, Announce Basketball Operations Promotions
PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns today named John Shumate an assistant coach. Shumate, a one-time Suns draft pick and 30-year veteran of basketball on the professional and collegiate levels, joins Bill Cartwright, Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov on head coach Alvin Gentry’s staff.
Having just completed his 12th season as a member of the Suns’ front office, Shumate makes the move to Gentry’s staff after serving in the club’s scouting department for all but one of the last eight seasons. Shumate served as the head coach of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in 2003.
Shumate’s wealth of basketball experience was formed over the last 30 years as a player, coach and college scout. Originally the fourth overall pick of the 1974 NBA Draft by the Suns, Shumate was named All-NBA Rookie First Team in 1975-76 after sitting out his rookie campaign with a blood clot injury. The Notre Dame product played seven NBA seasons and averaged 12.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 318 games with the Suns, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle.
Following his playing career, Shumate coached 17 consecutive years at the college and pro level at Notre Dame (assistant coach, 1981-83, 1986-88), Grand Canyon College (now Grand Canyon State, head coach, 1983-86), Southern Methodist University (head coach, 1988-94) and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors (assistant coach, 1995-98). The 57-year-old rejoined the Suns organization as a community relations representative in 1998 before moving to the scouting department in 2000.
The team also announced today the addition of Bruce Fraser to the scouting the staff. Elvis Valcarcel has been promoted to video coordinator after one season as assistant video coordinator.