Grizzlies hire Kevin O’Neill as assistant coachPosted by Inside Hoops
The Memphis Grizzlies added Kevin O’Neill to the team’s assistant coaching ranks, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.
A former University of Tennessee head coach, O’Neill brings 28 years of coaching experience to the club including a one-year stint as head coach of the Toronto Raptors in 2003-04 where he went 33-49 (.402). He was the lead assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons from 2001-03 under 2001-02 NBA Coach of the Year and newly-named Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle.
“The Grizzlies are excited about the opportunity to work with a defensive expert in Kevin O’Neill,” said Head Coach Marc Iavaroni. “His experience and knowledge in college and the NBA will help our players and organization reach the highest levels we are striving for.”
A six-year veteran in the NBA coaching circles, O’Neill has seen time as an assistant with the New York Knicks (2000-01) under Jeff Van Gundy and the Indiana Pacers (2004-06) where he rejoined Carlisle. Including his time at the helm in Toronto, no NBA team with O’Neill on the coaching staff has ever finished lower than sixth in the league in points allowed per game.
Most recently, O’Neill served as the interim head coach at the University of Arizona last season, where he guided the Wildcats to a 19-15 record (.559) and the school’s 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Wildcats faced the then-No. 2 ranked Memphis Tigers on Dec. 29, 2007 at FedExForum.