Timberwolves Front Office and Basketball Operations Staff
On March 23, 1995, Glen Taylor closed the deal that made him majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He added the title of NBA owner to a list that already included international businessman, state senator, entrepreneur, philanthropist and executive of the year.
Glen Taylor is chairman of Mankato, Minn. based Taylor Corporation, a multinational conglomerate of marketing, communications and interactive solutions companies He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. During this period, he worked part time at Carlson Wedding Service, a print shop specializing in formal invitations. After graduation he continued to work at the company, developing strategies to cut delivery time, improve service and expand offerings. Since purchasing the company in 1975, Mr. Taylor has grown the organization into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, with more than 75 subsidiaries and over 10,000 employees. Under his vision and leadership, Taylor Corp. has emerged as one of the top 10 graphics communications companies in North America, providing services to more than half of the FORTUNE 500 companies and millions of small businesses and consumers around the world. In 2000, Mr. Taylor invested in leading agribusiness and food company, Rembrandt Enterprises, now one of the largest egg producers in the U.S. In 2004, Mr. Taylor became an investor in full service broker dealer Northland Capital Holdings, Inc., and is also an investor in Envoy Medical, an implantable hearing therapy company. In July of 2014 Mr. Taylor finalized his purchase of the Star Tribune newspaper, Minnesota’s largest news organization so that once again they would be owned outright by a Minnesotan. He also has ownership in Minnesota’s new Major League Soccer team, Minnesota United.
Mr. Taylor attended Harvard Graduate School of Business and earned his B.S. at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is one of only three people to receive a Minnesota State University honorary doctorate degree.
Taylor’s business savvy has been recognized by Corporate Report magazine, which honored him as its Executive of the Year (1987), and the Sales and Marketing Executives of Minneapolis/St. Paul, who awarded him with their Sales Executive of the Year Award (1999). He was also inducted into the Minnesota Hall of Fame (2002) by Twin Cities Monthly Magazine.
Taylor was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1980, where he served until 1990. He became assistant Senate minority leader in 1982. From 1984 to 1986, he served as Senate minority leader. While in the Senate, Taylor was instrumental in providing leadership in the areas of higher education, child care and economic development policies.
In October of 2008, Taylor was named Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors, a position he still holds.
Taylor and his family have provided financial assistance and participated in missions to Africa, Turkey, Egypt, China and Central America to support children.
Taylor and his wife, Becky, live in Mankato. Their children and grandchildren enjoy attending many of the Timberwolves games.
WILLIAM F. BIEBER - Chairman of ATEK Companies, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Bieber resides in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
JOHN BOLLERO - A retired commodity trader. A native of Decatur, Illinois, now resides in Palm Beach, Florida and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
RALPH W. BURNET - Chairman of Coldwell Banker Burnet, Edina, Minnesota, and Owner and Chairman of RWB Hospitality LLC. Burnet resides in his hometown of Wayzata, Minnesota.
R. WYNN KEARNEY, JR. - Kearney is a retired orthopedic surgeon who resides in Mankato, Minnesota, his hometown.
TERI E. POPP - President of Minnesota Military Family Tribute and retired attorney residing in Orono, Minnesota.
WILLIAM J. (BILL) POPP - Owner/President of POPP Communications, Golden Valley, Minnesota. A native of Minneapolis, Popp resides in Orono, Minnesota.
PHIL “FLIP” SAUNDERS FAMILY
JOYCE SEXTON - President of Sexton Family Foundation. Sexton resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. WILLIAM SEXTON - Retired President/Owner of Old Northwest Company. Sexton resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
LIZHANG (JOHN) JIANG - Founder and chairman of Shanghai Double-Edged Sports Company in China.
MEYER ORBACH - Chairman of the Orbach Group in New York City, NY.
Chief Executive Officer
Ethan Casson is entering his first season as Chief Executive Officer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.
As the CEO, Casson oversees the business operations for the Timberwolves and Lynx, working closely with his executive team on setting the organization’s strategy and vision. His initial focus will be on the development of personnel, strengthening the fan base, driving key revenue opportunities and expanding the organization’s involvement in the community.
Prior to his current role, Casson spent six seasons with the 49ers, initially in 2010 as the team’s Vice President of Corporate Sales. He was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer in 2014 and Chief Operating Officer in 2016. Casson led a team focused on generating corporate revenue associated with the 49ers’ new stadium project. He spearheaded the organization’s effort in securing a 20-year, $220 million naming rights partnership with Levi Strauss & Co., one of the largest naming rights deals in NFL history. Under Casson’s direction, the first two seasons at Levi’s Stadium saw record-breaking revenue growth in several areas of the 49ers business, inclusive of ticket and premium sales and corporate partnerships. In addition, Casson helped procure some of the most prominent events in sports and entertainment, including Super Bowl 50, WrestleMania 31, the NHL Outdoor Stadium Series, Pac-12 Championship Football and various music headliners. His impact on the 49ers business and success of the Levi’s Stadium project led to Casson being recognized as a member of the Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” class of 2014.
Prior to the 49ers, Casson worked for 11 years with the Timberwolves and Lynx. As Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Game Presentation, Casson established many long-term partnerships with key Twin Cities’ brands, while working to enhance the overall in-arena fan experience. Before his tenure with the organization, Casson served in sponsorship development at ESPN.
Casson earned a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. A standout college basketball player, he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in July 2013 and the Colby-Sawyer College Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2015. Casson served on the board of directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area and was previously a board member for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Minnesota during his first stint with the franchise. Casson and his wife, Lisa, reside in Minneapolis.
Chris Wright is entering his 13th season as President for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx and his 26th season with the organization. He previously served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
In his current role, Wright is responsible for supporting the business operations of both teams. A constant fixture in the Twin Cities’ corporate community, Wright manages several of the organizations’ most integrated partnerships including Target (arena naming rights partner) and Mayo Clinic (practice facility naming rights partner). Additionally, he is heavily involved in the arena renovation, a $130 million project that began in the spring of 2016. In 2014, Wright led the sales efforts and development of Mayo Clinic Square, a state-of-the-art practice and performance facility. He is also assisting the ownership group of the Minnesota United as it prepares to enter into the MLS family. A true believer that a healthy culture is a winning culture, Wright helped author the organization’s vision statement: Believe, Inspire, Unite.
Prior to joining the Timberwolves, Wright spent three years working for the state of Minnesota, initially as a consultant working on bids for major national and international events, including the programming of the $17.4 million National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. Wright also served as general manager for two Major Indoor Soccer League Teams, the Pittsburgh Spirit (1981-86) and the Minnesota Strikers (1986-87).
Wright graduated from Carnegie College of Physical Education in Headingly, Leeds, Yorkshire, England. He is very involved in and consults with many local charities and youth sports programs. He was elected to and serves on the advisory board of the Minnesota State University Sports Management Program. A native of England, Wright currently resides in Eden Prairie, MN, with his wife Walla. Wright also has a daughter Christy, two sons Jeff and Ned, daughters-in-law Amy and Laura and grandson Brennan.
President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach
Tom Thibodeau (pronounced Thib-uh-DOE) was named the President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Timberwolves on April 20, 2016, becoming the 12th head coach in franchise history. This is Thibodeau’s second stint with the Timberwolves, originally beginning his NBA career in Minnesota as an assistant under Bill Musselman from 1989-91.
A veteran of 25 seasons along the NBA sidelines, Thibodeau’s teams have advanced to the postseason in 19 seasons, including three trips to the NBA Finals (1999, 2008, 2010). Before returning to Minnesota, Thibodeau served as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2010-15. Under his tutelage, the Bulls won at least 45 games and reached the playoffs in all five seasons, including holding the best record in the NBA in each of his first two seasons (2010-12). Thibodeau is one of two coaches in NBA history (Kerr) to accomplish the feat. His .647 winning percentage as head coach ranks seventh in NBA history (min. 200 games).
In his first season in Chicago, Thibodeau directed the Bulls to 62 wins in the 2010-11 season, becoming one of four coaches (Paul Westphal, Bill Russell, Steve Kerr) in NBA history to win 60 or more games in his first year as head coach. The Bulls 62 wins marked a 21-win improvement from the team’s 41-41 record the season before, the third-best single-season turnaround in club history. Thibodeau was named the 2010-11 Coach of the Year following the season.
Known as an elite defensive mind, Thibodeau’s teams have ranked in the top two in the league in defensive field goal percentage in nine of his last 12 seasons. In his five seasons with Chicago, the Bulls’ defense ranked in the top three in both points allowed and defensive field goal percentage four times, including allowing a franchise-low 88.2 points per game in 2011-12 (the fewest points allowed in the NBA since 2004).
In the summer of 2013, he was named to Mike Krzyzewski’s staff as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team and in 2014 the team went on to win the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Thibodeau will accompany the team at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.
Before joining the Bulls, Thibodeau served as associate head coach of the Boston Celtics from 2007-10, a stretch that saw the Celtics reach the NBA Finals twice and win the 2008 NBA Championship. In 2007-08, his first year with the Celtics, Boston held its opponents to 90.3 ppg, an improvement of 8.9 ppg from the previous season, and limited its foes to an NBA-low .419 field goal percentage, down from .468 the year before. During Boston’s 2008 playoff run that culminated in the franchise’s NBA-record 17th world championship, the Celtics held the Los Angeles Lakers to 93.8 ppg and .441 field-goal percentage in the NBA Finals (L.A. averaged 102.4 ppg and shot .468 from the field in the 2008 Playoffs).
Thibodeau began his NBA career as an assistant coach under Bill Musselman with the Timberwolves from 1989-91, while also serving as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs (1992-94), Philadelphia 76ers (1994-96), New York Knicks (1996-2003) and Houston Rockets (2003-07). He also spent the 1991-92 season as an advance scout for the Seattle SuperSonics. Before joining the NBA’s coaching ranks, Thibodeau coached at Salem State University (1981-85) and Harvard University (1985-89).
During his 25-year career, Thibodeau has coached under Bill Musselman, Jerry Tarkanian, John Lucas, Jeff Van Gundy, Don Chaney and Doc Rivers, while coaching players including Kevin Garnett, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah.
Thibodeau, 58, was born in New Britain, Conn., on Jan. 17, 1958. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Counseling from Salem State University (Salem, Mass.), where he was a four-year letter winner in basketball. Thibodeau was team captain his senior season, and a member of back-to-back MASCAC Conference Champion squads in 1980 and 1981 (the first two basketball teams in school history to qualify for the Division III NCAA Tournament). He was inducted into the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Scott Layden is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as General Manager, joining alongside President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau on April 20, 2016. In his role, Layden will assist Thibodeau in the evaluation and acquisition of players and in the overall management of all basketball operations for the Wolves.
Layden has more than 30 years of experience in the NBA, including spending four seasons prior to joining Minnesota as assistant general manager of the San Antonio Spurs under R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich. Before joining the Spurs, Layden spent seven seasons with the Utah Jazz as an assistant coach, his second stint with the Jazz.
He began his professional career in 1980, serving as an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University before making the move to the NBA as an administrative assistant and scout with the Jazz in 1981. In 1982 he was elevated to assistant coach under his father, Frank Layden, a position he held until being named director of player personnel in 1989. He was promoted to director of basketball operations in 1992 and vice president in 1996.
From 1992-99, Layden was primarily responsible for all player personnel, draft and trade decisions. The Jazz recorded five straight 50+ win seasons (including three 60+ win campaigns), two Midwest Division titles (1996-97 and 1997-98) and back-to-back Western Conference Championships in 1997 and 1998. He finished as runner up (to the Lakers’ Jerry West) for The Sporting News NBA Executive of the Year award in 1994-95, a season in which the Jazz went 60-22.
In the summer of 1999, Layden was named general manager of the New York Knicks before being promoted to team president a year-and-a-half later. In his four-plus seasons in New York, the Knicks made the playoffs twice, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000.
Before re-joining the Jazz in 2005, he worked with NBA TV for part of the 2003-04 and entirety of 2004-05 NBA seasons.
An upstate New York prep standout, Layden went on to play collegiately for St. Francis University, where he was a four-year letterman and captained the team in his senior year of 1979-80. He graduated with a degree in business management.
Layden has led camps in Israel in conjunction with PeacePlayers International, a program that uses basketball to teach children proven tactics for improving their communities. He has also worked basketball camps for both the NBA and Adidas in China, Brazil and Europe.
Layden and his wife, Marsha, have four daughters: Sarah, Hannah, Mary Frances and Emma Grace.
Assistant General Manager
Noah Croom is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as Assistant General Manager after serving as Vice President, General Counsel of Goodwin Sports Management (GSM) from 2002-16. Noah is known for his expertise in interpreting the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and salary cap.
Prior to joining GSM, Noah held positions at a prestigious law firm, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Vancouver Grizzlies. He spent three years with New York City based Latham & Watkins as a corporate associate specializing in public offerings of debt, equity securities, mergers and acquisitions. During his time with the NBA, Noah was involved in negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA Players Association, assisting teams in interpreting the Collective Bargaining Agreement and drafting international television agreements as well as special agreements for events such as the NBA All-Star Game and NBA Draft.
Noah left the NBA to join the Vancouver Grizzlies during their inaugural season as Assistant General Manager and Legal Counsel. With the Grizzlies, Noah negotiated all player and coach contracts and represented the team in its negotiations with the NBA league office. Noah has also advised both the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets in connection with various player-related matters.
Noah graduated from Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA with a degree in Economics in 1987 and received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1990.
Croom and his wife, Susan, reside in St. Louis Park and have two sons, Jackson and Tucker, and a daughter, MacKenzie.
Rick Brunson is entering his first season on the Timberwolves’ bench as an assistant coach and his third season coaching under Coach Thibodeau. Brunson got his start in the NBA coaching ranks as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets in 2007 before making stops in Chicago (2010-12) and Charlotte (2012-13).
A nine-year NBA veteran, Brunson played with seven different teams from 1997-2006, including playing under Thibodeau, who was an assistant coach in both New York (1998-2001) and Houston (2005-06). Brunson was a member of the 1999 Eastern Conference Champion New York Knicks, who eventually lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. In his career, Brunson made the playoffs in five of his nine seasons.
Before joining the NBA coaching ranks, Brunson was an assistant coach at the University of Hartford in 2009-10 and spent two seasons as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Virginia (2007-09).
Brunson, a native of Syracuse, New York, played collegiately at Temple University under Hall of Fame head coach John Chaney. In his four years at Temple (1991-95), Brunson led the Owls to four NCAA tournaments, highlighted by an Elite Eight appearance in 1993. In 2011 he was inducted into both the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Brunson and his wife, Sandra, have two kids: Erica, 15, and Jalen, 20, who recently won the 2016 NCAA Championship with the Villanova Wildcats.
Andy Greer is in his first season on the Timberwolves’ bench as an assistant coach. He spent last season as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors after spending five seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls on Tom Thibodeau’s staff. During his time in Chicago, the club posted a .647 (255-139) regular-season winning percentage and ranked in the top 10 each season for opponent scoring average and opponent field goal percentage.
Greer’s NBA coaching resume also includes assistant positions with the Memphis Grizzlies (2007-09), Houston Rockets (2003-07) and New York Knicks (2001-03) and a scout with the Portland Trail Blazers (2009-10).
Before joining the NBA coaching fraternity, Greer coached at the collegiate level for nearly two decades. He spent four years at Northern Illinois University, where he logged three-and-a-half seasons as an assistant coach and a half-season as the team’s interim head coach, and four years as the head coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Greer also coached collegiately at Mansfield University, Brandeis University, Boston University and the University of Southern California. He received his first coaching job as an assistant coach at Genesee Community College in 1983.
Greer holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in education from Mansfield University.
Ed Pinckney begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Timberwolves, his second stint in Minnesota after serving as an assistant coach from 2007-09. Pinckney coached for five seasons with the Chicago Bulls as an assistant coach on Tom Thibodeau’s staff from 2010-15.
Pinckney also served as Head Coach of the Egyptian National Team and Assistant Coach for the Ukrainian National Team under Mike Fratello in 2011. Prior to joining Chicago’s staff, he was a television analyst for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2009-10 season. He also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Villanova University, from 2003-07.
Before joining the NBA coaching ranks, he served as a member of the Miami Heat broadcasting team, where he provided color commentary for TV and radio after his retirement from basketball in 1997.
Pinckney was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He spent 12 seasons in the NBA, playing for Phoenix, Sacramento, Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia and Miami. He is one of the greatest players in Villanova history, as he helped lead the Wildcats to the 1985 NCAA National Championship in an epic thriller over Georgetown. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four for his efforts in the 1985 NCAA Tournament.
Ed and his wife Rose, have three sons, Shae, Spencer, and Austin and a daughter, Andrea.
Ryan Saunders is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the Timberwolves. Saunders brings a strong reputation for player development to this role, including having worked with two-time All-Star John Wall in Washington.
A University of Minnesota graduate, Saunders spent five seasons as an assistant with the Washington Wizards before joining the Timberwolves. In Washington, he was instrumental in assisting with the preparation for upcoming opponents with extensive scouting reports and statistical analysis. Prior to his time with the Wizards, Saunders was as an assistant for a season on Tubby Smith’s staff at the University of Minnesota, where he helped lead the Golden Gophers to an NCAA tournament appearance. In addition to his on-court work, Saunders helped players with their academic and social development off the court.
Before moving to the sidelines, Saunders played four seasons at Minnesota, where he was a two-time team captain, four-time scholar athlete award winner and 2006 Big Ten All-Academic selection. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in applied kinesiology.
As well as his coaching experience, Saunders brings an analytical background to the Wolves coaching staff. He is the co-founder of an in-game analytical program, Gametime Concepts, which focuses on in-game analysis and statistical probabilities. Gametime Concepts is used by a number of NBA and NCAA teams.
Player Development Coach
Vince Legarza is entering his second season with the Timberwolves and first as Player Development Coach.
Legarza initially joined the organization as Player Development Assistant/Player Development Video Coordinator prior to the 2015-16 season. Before coming to Minnesota, he spent two seasons in the Atlanta Hawks’ Basketball Operations/Player Development departments.
Legarza has also served as an assistant coach for the Dominican Republic National Team under Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson in the summer of 2015.
Before joining the NBA ranks, Legarza spent five years playing at Miami University, including serving as Captain of the squad for three seasons. During his collegiate career Legarza was awarded the team’s Marshall North Award twice, an honor which is given to the player that best exemplifies the virtue of loyalty and whose personal sacrifice of time, effort and energy contribute materially to the advancement of the team. As well as the Darrel Hedric Athlete of the year award in 2013. Legarza earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in International Business and minor in Entrepreneurship as well as a minor in “Management and Leadership.
A San Francisco native, Legarza is the son of Mike, a member of the California Sports Hall of Fame for his time spent as a coach, and Kim Legarza. He has two sisters: Alexis, 23, and Isabella, 18.
Peter Patton is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as Shooting Coach.
Patton has been teaching basketball for over 20 years, including learning the craft of shooting under San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Chip Engelland. A four-year graduate at DePaul, Patton never missed a game in college and set the DePaul single-season three-point percentage record as a junior (54.1%), a mark that still stands. He is also in the top ten in DePaul history for assist, steal, and career three pointers made.
Patton attributes his shooting prowess to Engelland, who mentored him during his career at DePaul as well as his professional career in the CBA, IBA, and Europe. Patton began working as a coach for summer camps and clinics at 19, eventually moving on to a career in player development and serving as President of PureForm Basketball, a skills academy with a specialty in player development, since 2005.
Peter and his wife, Stacey, have three sons: Luke, Nick and CJ.
Special Assistant to the President of Basketball Operations
Daisuke “Dice” Yoshimoto is entering his first season with the Timberwolves and fifth working under President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Tom Thibodeau.
Before joining Minnesota, Yoshimoto was Video Coordinator with the Denver Nuggets for the 2015-16 season. Prior to joining the Nuggets, Yoshimoto spent four seasons in Chicago as Video Coordinator under Thibodeau. Before starting his NBA career, Yoshimoto served as the Video Coordinator for the Ukraine National Team under the direction of Head Coach Mike Fratello.
Yoshimoto received his bachelor’s degree from Johnson & Wales University in Sports Management. While at Johnson & Wales, Yoshimoto played basketball during his junior and senior seasons, including winning the conference title and earning a bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history as a junior. He later received his master’s degree from Fordham University in Education.
A native of Osaka, Japan, Yoshimoto and his wife, Maiko, live in Minneapolis.
Derek Pierce is entering his third season as Advance Scout for the Wolves, eighth season with the team and 20th overall in the NBA. Before becoming Advance Scout, Pierce served as both a college and NBA personnel scout for the Wolves over the previous five seasons.
Before joining Minnesota, Pierce spent three seasons as Advance Scout with the Washington Wizards and two seasons as Advance Scout with the Golden State Warriors. Pierce also spent five seasons with the Indiana Pacers as Video Coordinator. He got his start in the NBA as a Basketball Operations Associate with the Orlando Magic.
Pierce earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Michigan State University before earning his master’s degree in Sports Administration from Florida State University. He and his wife Madeline have two daughters, Alexandra (5) and Helena (3). They reside in Bowie, MD.
Head Video Coordinator
Sam Newman-Beck is entering his seventh season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, eighth overall in the NBA and his second season as the team’s Head Video Coordinator. In his role, Newman-Beck will travel with the team and provide video edits on opposing teams. He will also utilize Gametime Concepts in the teams game planning, as well as compile opponent personnel reports. Additionally, he will assist on court with individual workouts.
Prior to joining the Wolves, Newman-Beck worked alongside Coach Thibodeau with the Boston Celtics where he served as a video intern during their NBA Finals run in 2009-10. With the Celtics, Newman-Beck was responsible for breaking down opponent video, assisting on court with individual workouts and overseeing the team’s college video database.
Newman-Beck played basketball collegiately at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where he he graduated and received a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. As a senior, he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court, which recognizes student-athletes who excelled in academics. Newman-Beck, is also the President and Founder of "Hoops and Hope: Honoring Medford’s Youth", which is a charity event to raise money for local youth in his hometown of West Medford, Massachusetts. He currently resides in downtown Minneapolis.
Director of Player Personnel
Brian Pauga is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as Director of Player Personnel.
Before coming to Minnesota, Pauga spent seven seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including most recently acting as Director of Scouting/General Manager of the Austin Spurs. He was promoted to Director of Scouting in 2012, a position he held during the Spurs NBA Finals runs in both 2013 and 2014, culminating in the 2014 NBA Championship. In 2013 Pauga added General Manager of the Austin Spurs (San Antonio’s NBA Development League team) to his responsibilities. Under his guidance, Austin won back-to-back division championships in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Pauga began his career with the Spurs as Basketball Operations Intern in 2007 before becoming full-time during the summer of 2008 as the Basketball Operations Assistant. Before joining the Spurs, he worked as a student manager with the Michigan State men’s basketball team from 2003-07, including the Spartan’s 2005 Final Four team. A native of Willowbrook, Illinois, he earned his degree in business management from Michigan State.
Pauga and his wife, Amanda, reside in Minneapolis with their daughter, Harper.
Director of Pro Personnel
Calvin Booth enters his fourth season with the Timberwolves and first as Director of Pro Personnel after spending last season with the team as Director of Player Personnel.
Booth enjoyed a 10-year NBA playing career (1999 - 2009) with the Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Seattle Sonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. In 366 career games, 83 starts, the 6-11 forward/center averaged 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. Booth played in one game for the Wolves in the 2008-09 season after being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in the summer of 2008. Booth appeared in seven games for Sacramento in the 2008-09 season before retiring in the summer of 2009. He most recently served as a scout, both pro and collegiate, with the New Orleans Hornets in 2012-13.
Booth, a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, played college basketball at Penn State from 1995-99 and was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and All-Big Ten Second Team as a senior.
Calvin and his wife, Keisha, and their daughters, Carter (13) and Camble (6), and sons, Carey (11) and Clarke (3), reside in Minneapolis.
Director of International Player Personnel
Zarko Durisic enters his 21st season with the Timberwolves organization where he heads up the team’s international scouting efforts. He previously held positions with the Wolves as director of college and international player personnel, director of player personnel and head scout.
A native of Montenegro (part of the former Yugoslavia), Durisic played for the national teams of Yugoslavia at all levels (cadets, juniors and seniors). He came to the United States in 1980 and attended Wichita State University where he played with former NBA players Xavier McDaniel, Cliff Livingston and Antoine Carr. Durisic was a member of two NCAA tournament qualifiers. After graduation from Wichita State in 1984 with a degree in computer science, Durisic played professionally for 11 seasons in Slovenia, where his teams won six Slovenian national titles.
ollowing his playing career, Durisic coached in Slovenia where he won one national title. His 1995-96 squad included future NBA players Rasho Nesterovic and Vladimir Stepania.
Durisic and his wife, Tatjana, have two daughters: Jelena and Aleksandra.
Director of Player Programs
Kaayla Chones enters her fourth season with the Timberwolves and second as Director of Player Programs. In her role she handles the day-to-day activities of the basketball department, including serving as a liaison between the business department and basketball operations, carrying out NBA initiatives, and coordinating all individual business travel needs. She also assists the players with personal, professional and social development and help new players and their families with relocation and integration into the community.
Chones, the daughter of former NBA player Jim Chones, spent three seasons (2004-06) in the WNBA, playing for the Washington Mystics and Seattle Storm. In 28 career games she averaged 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds. Chones, who retired in 2013, spent eight years playing professionally overseas in six different countries, including the 2012-13 season in Israel where she won a league championship with Elitzur Ramla.
During the summer, Chones served as the Director of Programs for The Chones Camps for the last 11 years (2002-13). The program offers basketball camps and literacy programs with the county libraries to children all over northeast Ohio.
A native of Pepper Pike, Ohio, Chones played college basketball at North Carolina State from 1999-2004 and was a First Team All-ACC selection as a senior.
TEAM MEDICAL STAFF
Director of Medical Operations/Head Athletic Trainer
Gregg Farnam joined the Timberwolves prior to the 1997-98 season before being named the Head Athletic Trainer in September 2000.
Farnam began working as an Athletic Trainer with USA Basketball in 2001 for the gold-medal-winning United States men’s basketball team at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. He has worked with the United States Men’s U19 team that won a silver medal at the 2007 FIBA World Championships in Nova Sad, Serbia and the Team USA that won gold in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. This summer, Farnam was a part of Team USA as they won their third consecutive gold medal at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. He has also worked with the U.S. Select Team in 2010 and 2012, as well as the National Team Mini Camp in Las Vegas during the summers of 2013 and 2015. Additionally, he provided medical coverage for the women’s volleyball team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in July 2003.
Farnam has also traveled to New Delhi (2008) and Singapore (2010) as the Athletic Trainer for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia. BWB is designed to work with local players to promote the game and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
Farnam is a past chairman of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) and has also served on the NBATA Executive Committee as Secretary and Western Conference Head Athletic Trainer Representative. He is a certified member of the National Trainers Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
A native of Pine River, Minnesota, Farnam originally became interested in athletic training while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in physical education from St. Could State University. He furthered his education with a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotions from California University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Athletic Therapy
Matt Duhamel is in his first season with the Timberwolves as Director of Athletic Therapy. In his role, Duhamel is responsible for daily evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of players.
Duhamel joins the Timberwolves after spending three seasons as Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist for the Minnesota Vikings. Before becoming full-time with the Vikings in 2013, Duhamel served as a seasonal Assistant Athletic Trainer for the team beginning in 2010. During the off-season, Duhamel worked in the Twin Cities as an Outpatient Physical Therapist with NovaCare Rehabilitation from 2010-12 while assisting the Vikings in-season. His experience also includes spending the 2006 season with the New England Patriots and working with the team during the off-seasons of 2005 and 2010 as an athletic training intern and physical therapy clinical student.
A member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association and the American Physical Therapy Association, Duhamel earned his undergraduate degree in athletic training at Northeastern University where he worked with the football and men’s basketball teams. He went on to earn his doctorate of physical therapy from Boston University in 2010. Duhamel is certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Sports Clinical Specialist.
A native of Lawrence, MA, Duhamel resides in Richfield, MN with his wife, Jamie.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach/Assistant Athletic Trainer
Dave Crewe is entering his seventh season with the team, first as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach/Assistant Athletic Trainer. Prior to his promotion, Crewe held various positions in the team’s strength and conditioning and athletic training departments. In his current role, Crewe oversees the development and implementation of the team’s strength and conditioning programs, as well as assists in the daily treatment and individual player rehabilitation. Additionally, Crewe oversees all medical responsibilities associated with the team’s summer league entry and pre-draft workouts.
As well as his team responsibilities, Crewe is in his second season on the board of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers’ Association as a Western Conference Assistant Athletic Trainer Representative. The two-year Executive Board position focuses on providing education and conducting basketball-related sports medicine research to benefit NBA athletes, the NBATA and their communities. Crewe also serves on the communications committee for the National Basketball Strength and Conditioning Association. The committee assists in the management of the NBSCA website, Social Media Platforms and Con-Ed Conference Marketing, which provides an avenue for aspiring performance coaches to reach out to the ‘pros’ and ask questions/debate items relating to the profession. In addition, Crewe contributed to research and development for NBA 2K17.
Prior to his time with the Timberwolves, Crewe spent three years with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, working in the team’s athletic training department.
Crewe received his bachelor's degree in Exercise Sports Science - Athletic Training in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, native obtained his masters degree in Rehabilitative Sciences from California University of Pennsylvania.
Crewe resides in Minneapolis.
- NBATA (National Basketball Athletic Trainers’ Association)
- NATA (National Athletic Trainers’ Association)
- NBSCA (National Basketball Strength and Conditioning Association)
- NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
- CSCS - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
- NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine): Performance Enhancement Specialist; Corrective Exercise Specialist
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Pierre Nesbit is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as Assistant Athletic Trainer. Before joining the Timberwolves, Nesbit most recently worked as the Seasonal Assistant Athletic Trainer with New England Patriots during the team’s run to the 2016 AFC Championship game. He was also the summer intern for the Buffalo Bills in both 2011 and 2012.
A graduate of Purdue University in 2013, Nesbit worked primarily with the men’s and women’s cross country and track amp; field teams, baseball and football during his four years with the Boilermakers while graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. Upon graduation, he attended Auburn University, working primarily with the football team. He graduated with a Master of Education in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Biomechanics in 2015. While at Auburn, he also obtained his Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
Throughout his career, Nesbit has worked in a number of high profile events, including both the VIZIO BCS National Championship game in 2014 and SEC Football Championship game in 2013. He received the PFATS-NFL Charities Minority Scholarship in 2011, 2012 and 2015 and the Newell-Combs Athletic Training Scholarship in 2011 and 2012.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Nesbit is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He and his fiancé, Andrea, reside in Eagan, Minnesota.
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Troy Sutton is entering his first season with the Timberwolves as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. In his position, Sutton assists in the development and implementation of the team’s strength and conditioning programs.
Before joining the Timberwolves, Sutton served as the Assistant Director of Sports Performance at Northwestern University for the past four years. Prior to working at Northwestern, Sutton was Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for 3+ years at Ohio State University, where he was responsible for the program development and position specific training for the offensive and defensive skill and offensive mid-skill position groups. His career also includes stops at Arizona State University and Ohio University.
Sutton received his Bachelor of Science in Sport and Leisure Studies from Ohio State University in 2004 before earning his Master of Science in Health and Human Sciences from Ohio University in 2005.
Sheldon Burns, M.D.
Vice President, Team Medical Services
Dr. Sheldon Burns enters his 28th season as the Timberwolves’ medical director, and his ninth as Vice President, Team Medical Services. A doctor at Edina Family Physicians, an Allina Affiliate, Burns is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Practice, Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine. His duties with the Timberwolves include serving as team physician, coordinating medical care and assisting in other club medical matters.
For his work with numerous NBA teams, Burns was named the National Basketball Trainers Association 2005 NBA Physician of the Year. Burns is also the team physician for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings and Medical Director for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild. He has been the team physician on four Gold Medal teams in three different Olympic Games, including the Men’s and Women’s USA Basketball Teams in Beijing in 2008. He was also the head physician for the U.S. team in the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007. Additionally, he has served as tournament physician for the Minnesota State High School League.
Burns is active in teaching at the Minnesota Orthopedic Sports Medicine Institute at Twin City Orthopedics, TRIA Orthopaedic Center and the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. He has been a Deputy Medical Commissioner of the International Olympic Committee and has worked in various roles in 10 Olympic Games. Burns was named Family Physician of the Year in Minnesota in 2014, which also marked the 100th consecutive year providing family medicine to the people of Minnesota by Drs. Burns: his grandfather, aunt and him.
Burns, a native of Grand Meadow, Minn., and a summer resident of Nisswa, Minn., received his undergraduate degree from Hamline University and earned his medical degree in 1974 from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He and his wife Sharon live in Edina and have four daughters and one son.
Diane Dahm, M.D.
Diane Dahm is entering her third season as orthopedic surgeon for the Timberwolves and her 18th year of practice at the Mayo Clinic, where she is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery. She is an author of two books on Sports Conditioning and Fitness, and has published over 100 research articles and book chapters on various Orthopedic and Sports Medicine-related topics.
Dr. Dahm’s work in sports medicine began as an undergraduate Student Athletic Trainer at Wake Forest University. She then graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School and went on to an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the Mayo Clinic. Before joining the Mayo Clinic staff in 1998, she spent a year in Minneapolis as a sports medicine fellow at the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center.
During her time at Mayo, Dr. Dahm has served as a team physician for the Rochester Skeeters IBA basketball team, the Minnesota Chill Professional volleyball team, and, most recently, the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team. She has traveled as a team physician with the 2012 USA Basketball Mens U-17 World Championship Team and with the USA Basketball Womens National Team during their 2012 pre-Olympic training.
Dr. Dahm resides in Byron, Minn., with her husband Jay Smith and her two sons, Jett and Miles.