New Orleans Hornets sign coach Monty Williams to contract extension

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed head coach Monty Williams to a new multi-year contract extension. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, it’s a four-year deal that will keep Williams with the team through 2016.

“We are proud to announce that Monty Williams will be the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets for years to come,” said Hornets Owner Tom Benson. “We could not be any happier to have someone of Monty’s quality – both professionally and personally – involved in the resurgence of this franchise.”

“The Hornets have a promising future and an exciting young nucleus,” said Hornets Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis. “It is our opinion that Monty is the perfect coach to develop and lead this group of talent going forward.”

“I would like to thank Mr. Benson, his family, Mickey and Dell for putting their trust in me and showing me their commitment,” said Williams. “The love and support the city and its fans have shown me and my family in the time we have been here has been incredible and I look forward to continuing to work to make the city and the Benson family proud of the Hornets.”

Williams, hired by the Hornets on June 7, 2010 as the ninth coach in franchise history, is entering his third season at the helm with a career record of 67-81 (.453), including his debut season with the club in 2010-11 where he led New Orleans to a 46-36 record and earned the team a playoff appearance. Williams placed seventh in Coach of the Year voting after that season and was named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month for January 2011. Last season, Williams’ squad improved its win total each month and finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 6-1 stretch at the New Orleans Arena.

A native of Fredericksburg, Va., Williams came to the Hornets after five seasons as the assistant coach under Nate McMillan of the Portland Trail Blazers, including serving as the head coach for the Blazers summer league team in the NBA Summer League in both 2007 and 2008. Prior to his time in Portland, Williams spent one season as a coaching intern under Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs in 2004-05, helping the Spurs capture the NBA Championship. He was also the head coach for the Spurs summer league entry team in the 2005 Rocky Mountain Revue.

Williams played in the NBA for 10 seasons before chronic knee problems forced him into retirement in 2003. Selected by the New York Knicks in the first round (24th pick overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft out of Notre Dame, Williams played for the Knicks, Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. His best season was with the Spurs in 1996-97, when he averaged 9.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 65 games. For his career, Williams averaged 6.3 points in 456 games. Williams was an honorable mention All-American at Notre Dame after averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season.

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