The New Orleans Hornets announced the hiring of assistant coaches Randy Ayers and Fred Vinson today, completing first-year head coach Monty Williams’ staff. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.
Williams’ coaching staff stands at Mike Malone, who will serve as the lead assistant, Bryan Gates, James Borrego, Ayers and Vinson.
“Randy and Fred will bring a wealth of experience to our staff,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams. “Randy is an experienced coach both on the collegiate and professional level. He brings many tools that will help strengthen our coaching staff and will be able to assist our players on a variety of levels. Fred’s experience, particularly with the Clippers, will be instrumental in helping the younger players as they adjust to the NBA.”
Ayers holds a strong track record as an assistant and head coach in college and the NBA. He served as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2003-04 season posting a 21-31 record. Prior to his head coaching job in Philadelphia, Ayers served as an assistant coach for the 76ers for five seasons (1998-2003). As the top assistant under Head Coach Larry Brown, Ayers helped guide Philadelphia to five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001.
The Springfield, Ohio native has also served as an assistant coach in the NBA for the Orlando Magic (2004-2006), the Washington Wizards (2007-09) and again for the 76ers during the 2009-10 season.
Ayers began his coaching career by serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Miami University (Ohio) for two seasons. He then served as an assistant for two seasons at West Point before moving on to Ohio State. At Columbus, Ayers spent six seasons as an assistant coach before landing his first head coaching job at the Ohio State University. In his eight seasons with the Buckeyes, Ayers spearheaded teams that earned two consecutive No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, while also winning the National Coach of the Year honor by the Associated Press in 1991 and the Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 1991 and 1992.
Ayers was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, but was cut from the team without ever playing professionally. He has been married for the last 27 years to his wife, Carol. Randy and Carol have two sons, Ryan and Cameron. Ryan played basketball at Notre Dame and graduated in 2009. Cameron, who will begin his freshman year at Bucknell this fall and will play basketball for the Bison.
Vinson, a Georgia Tech graduate, had been an assistant for the L.A. Clippers since 2007. During his time with L.A., he also served as the Director of Player Programs in those years, mentoring younger players to ease their transition in life in the NBA.
Born on Jan. 28, 1971, Vinson played parts of the 1994-95 and 1999-2000 seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics, tallying career averages of 1.3 points and 5.2 minutes per game. Vinson also averaged 3.3 points per game for the Clippers during the 2005-06 NBA preseason. He was also a member of the 2002-03 CBA champions Yakima Sun Kings, coached by former Portland Trail Blazer coach Bill Bayno. Vinson also played for SLUC Nancy, in Nancy, France during the 2003-04 season.