POSTED: Apr 14, 2016 12:06 AM ET
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced Sam Mitchell has been relieved of his interim head coaching duties, effective immediately, and the team will initiate a search for both a new head coach and a new head of basketball operations. Due to the sudden onset of Flip Saunders' illness leading to his untimely death, the team was unable to conduct a search for these two critical positions in the timetable leading up to the start of the 2015-16 season. In these unusual circumstances, Sam Mitchell was named to interim head coach and Milt Newton was asked to act as the head of basketball operations, filling the void left by Saunders.
With the conclusion of the season a comprehensive search can take place to fill both vacancies. To manage the search process the team has retained the services of Korn Ferry whose sports practice includes extensive experience in coaching, executive and team personnel searches. The search will focus exclusively on candidates outside the current organization.
"The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves has never been brighter," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "It's important that we find the best leaders to shape our talented team and help them realize their full potential. We owe it to our fans, our community and to our players to ensure our team has the best chance possible of winning an NBA title.
"I would like to thank both Sam and Milt for a good job under very difficult circumstances in guiding our team this season," said Taylor. "They were put in a historically challenging position as no team in NBA history has had an active head coach pass away. Both men provided our team with continuity and direction for the 2015-16 season. We will always be grateful to Sam for his contributions this season and wish him and his family the best in the future."
The team's search for these two basketball leadership positions will be wide-ranging and extensive. Milt Newton will continue to serve as General Manager as the new leadership team is assembled. No timeline has been set and no further updates will be provided until the conclusion of the searches.