randy wittman

The Washington Wizards have decided head coach Randy Wittman will keep running the show.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that Wittman will return as the team’s head coach for the 2012-13 season.

“We are excited to bring Randy back as head coach and give him the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that the team showed under his leadership last season,” said Grunfeld.  “We were very pleased with the development of our young players and the commitment to winning he instilled despite taking over the team under difficult circumstances.”

Wittman was originally named head coach of the Wizards on January 24, 2012, after Flip Saunders was relieved of his duties following the team’s 2-15 start.  The Wizards finished 18-31 (.367) after Wittman took over the team and won eight of their final 10 games (including their last six in a row).

“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity that Mr. Leonsis and Ernie have given me and I’m thrilled to be returning to work with these players and this organization,” said Wittman.  “I felt that we made significant progress throughout last season and we are all looking forward to having a full summer, training camp and season to continue to improve this team.”

Wittman continues his third stint as a head coach after leading both the Minnesota Timberwolves (2006-07 to 2008-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (1999-2000 to 2000-01).  He had served as the Wizards’ lead assistant since the 2009-10 season prior to being named head coach last season.  Wittman began his coaching career as an assistant with Indiana before stops as an assistant coach in Dallas and Orlando.

Originally drafted by the Washington Bullets with the 22nd overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, Wittman played nine NBA seasons for Atlanta, Sacramento and Indiana before retiring in 1992 with a career average of 7.4 points per game while shooting .501 from the field in 543 games.