Suns News

John Shumate Rejoins Suns Staff

Former Suns player and Mercury coach John Shumate is returning to the Suns as a college scout.
(NBAE Photos)
Posted: Feb. 6, 2004

Former Suns player and Mercury Head Coach John Shumate is rejoining the Suns staff as a college scout, it was announced today by Suns President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.

“I’m very proud of what I accomplished with the Mercury last season and I’m leaving the team in a very strong position for the future,” said Shumate, who guided the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury to an 8-26 record in one season in 2003. “As much as I enjoy the WNBA game, it became clear this offseason that my heart and long-term career ambitions are in the NBA. With the Suns having some big decisions in the immediate future, especially in the draft, the timing just seemed right.”

“We never really addressed the void left by his departure and this is a result of our plan to do so,” said Colangelo, adding, “there is so much more emphasis required on preparation due to the possible significance of our draft position. There couldn't be a better time to welcome ‘Shu’ back to the Suns staff and he will be a big part of our planning as we focus on the future.”

The seven-year NBA veteran with Phoenix, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle, was selected by the Suns in the first round of the 1974 NBA Draft, and rejoined the organization in 1998 working in the community relations department.

Shumate, 51, was a college scout in 2001 before accepting the Mercury head coaching position on Oct. 23, 2002 after 17 years of coaching at Notre Dame, Grand Canyon College (now Grand Canyon State), Southern Methodist University and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

“We can't say enough about John's contribution to the Mercury,” said Seth Sulka, Mercury General Manager, who added the search for a new Mercury Head Coach would begin immediately. “We had a well-coached team last season that played their hearts out every night and gave our fans a team they could be proud of.”