Clippers Announce Coaching Change

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that Head Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy will step away from his day to day coaching responsibilities and focus exclusively on the team’s personnel matters. The decision was reached mutually during a meeting at the team’s Playa Vista Training Center earlier today. In attendance at that meeting were Clippers’ President Andy Roeser, Dunleavy and Assistant General Manager Neil Olshey, who will continue in his role as Dunleavy’s top aide in Basketball Operations.

Current Clippers’ Assistant Coach Kim Hughes will immediately assume the role of Interim Head Coach, and will retain the position through the remainder of the ’09-’10 season.

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In defining the move, Dunleavy said, “I’ve had several conversations with our owner (Donald T. Sterling) concerning what we think is best for the team overall. We have discussed the possibility of my concentrating only on Basketball Operations. That option has always been available to me.”

Dunleavy continued, “I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the ideal time for me to direct my efforts toward the many personnel opportunities that lie before us, such as the trade market, the Draft and the free agent process. We fully expect to be active and productive on all those fronts.”

Roeser stated, “We fully agree with Mike that this is the right time to make this change. It just seems clear that the team needs a fresh voice and we hope that our players will respond in a positive way. As we approach the trade deadline, the NBA Draft and the upcoming Free Agent period, our team is very well-positioned from a salary cap standpoint. Mike’s experienced input will be vitally important as we continue to develop our young talented nucleus and shape our team’s future.”

The Clippers all-time franchise leader in wins with 215, Dunleavy has coached the 15th most games in NBA history (1,329) and became the 21st coach in NBA history to win 600 career games on Nov. 29, 2009. Dunleavy coached a Clippers record 540 games since 2003, accumulating a 215-325 (.398) record. In 2005-06, Dunleavy led the Clippers to their best season since moving to California finishing second in the Pacific Division and advanced to within one game of the Western Conference Finals in their first playoff appearance in nine seasons.

Kim Hughes has worked as a Clippers assistant for seven seasons after serving the previous five years with the Denver Nuggets. Hughes started with Denver in 1998 as Director of Scouting before being named Director of Player Personnel and also was a Nuggets assistant coach in 1998-99. Before joining the Nuggets, Hughes spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks as a head and regional scout. A member of the 1975-76 ABA All-Rookie First Team with the New York Nets, the former University of Wisconsin star (1970-74) played six years in the NBA and ABA and also played professionally in Italy.