Brooklyn Nets Add Ayers and Bender to Scouting Staff
Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced today the additions of Randy Ayers and Bob Bender to the player personnel scouting staff. Ayers was named to the position of college scout, while Bender was named pro scout.
Randy Ayers joins the Nets following a five-year stint as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans, including serving the last four years as the team’s lead assistant coach. Ayers began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1997 under head coach Larry Brown, helping to guide the Sixers to five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001. He then assumed the position of head coach for the 2003-04 season, compiling a 21-31 record in his lone season at the helm. Following his time in Philadelphia, Ayers moved on to assistant coach positions with the Orlando Magic (2005-07) and Washington Wizards (2007-09) before rejoining the Sixers for the 2009-10 season. Ayers also had three stops as a college coach, highlighted by his first head coaching job at Ohio State University. In his eight seasons with the Buckeyes (1989-97), Ayers’ teams earned two-consecutive No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, and he was named National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press in 1991 and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992. Ayers spent six years as an assistant coach at OSU, two years at the U.S. Military Academy and two years as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Miami University (Ohio). Following his playing career at Miami, Ayers was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the third round of the 1978 NBA Draft, but never appeared in an NBA game.
Bob Bender joins the Nets after most recently spending the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. Before joining the Bucks, Bender spent nine seasons on the bench in Atlanta, serving his final three seasons as an assistant under Larry Drew. Prior to his time on Atlanta’s staff, Bender was with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2002-04, first as their assistant coach/player development and then as an assistant coach on the bench. His coaching career began at Duke University, where he served as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski from 1983-89. Bender was first named a head coach at Illinois State in 1990, where he earned two Missouri Valley Conference Championships, one conference tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. He then spent nine years at the University of Washington (1994-2001), where he directed the Huskies to four consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 1996-99. Bender was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1996. Bender played collegiately, first at Indiana and then at Duke. He was a sixth round draft pick of the San Diego Clippers in 1979, but never played in the NBA.