The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday afternoon that the NBA club has relieved head coach Dwane Casey of his coaching duties and responsibilities. Timberwolves Assistant Coach Randy Wittman will take over the head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2006-07 NBA season.
"We started the season with certain goals and expectations that have not been met," said Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "We've struggled with being consistent throughout the year and ultimately that's the head coach's responsibility. I want to thank Dwane for his hard work and commitment to this team, and wish him well."
In less than two seasons as head coach of the Timberwolves, Casey posted a 53-69 record (.434 winning percentage). Casey came to Minnesota after spending 11 seasons as an assistant with the Seattle SuperSonics. Prior to arriving in Seattle, Casey spent five years as a head coach in Japan, including coaching the Japanese National Team with basketball legend Pete Newell. He also served as an assistant to Eddie Sutton at the University of Kentucky from 1985-90.
Wittman returned to the Timberwolves prior to the start of the 2006-07 season after serving as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic in 2005-06. Prior to that, Wittman served as an assistant with the Wolves for five seasons in two separate stints (1994-95 - 1998-99 and 2001-02 - 2004-05). He also served as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for two seasons (1999-2000 and 2000-01), compiling a 62-102 record.
"We believe that Randy Wittman will provide our team with a different voice to get us jump-started and going in the right direction," said McHale. "Randy is a known quantity who has a great amount of experience in the NBA. He's been an assistant coach, a player and a head coach in the league."
Wittman originally came to Minnesota from the Dallas Mavericks, where he spent the 1993-94 season as an assistant coach under Quinn Buckner. He also served one season (1992-93) on Bob Hill's staff with the Indiana Pacers. A 1983 graduate of Indiana University and two-time academic All-American, Wittman played nine seasons in the NBA. He was a first round draft choice of the Washington Bullets but was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks prior to the start of the 1983-84 campaign. During his NBA playing career, Wittman saw action with the Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, averaging 7.4 ppg while shooting 50.1 percent from the floor in 543 career games.