The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has hired Dean Cooper as an assistant coach. Cooper will join assistant coaches Jerry Sichting, J.B. Bickerstaff, Ed Pinckney and Brent Haskins on Randy Wittman’s staff. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Randy’s staff and working with a team that I think is definitely on the rise,” Cooper said. “Being in the league nine years, I’ve always thought highly of the Wolves organization and I’m excited to be a part of what they’re trying to build.”
Cooper joins the Wolves after spending the previous nine seasons with the Houston Rockets, most recently in the role of Vice President of Player Personnel. His responsibilities included the evaluation of draft prospects, free agents and potential trade acquisitions, and the coordination of the team’s national and international scouting.
Cooper began his NBA career as Houston’s video coordinator/scout in 1999, working two seasons in that capacity before being elevated to assistant coach on Rudy Tomjanovich’s staff for the following two seasons. After serving as an NBA personnel scout for the Rockets in 2003-04, he was promoted to Director of Scouting for the following three seasons before transitioning into his most recent role.
“In his time with the Rockets, Dean has proven himself to be a great basketball mind and an extremely hard worker,” Wittman said. “He’s very knowledgeable and passionate about the game and I’m excited to have him on my staff moving forward.”
A native of Belding, Mich., Cooper attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Before joining the Rockets, Cooper spent four years coaching in the collegiate ranks. He worked two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater before taking a similar position with the University of Buffalo. Cooper began his coaching career at the high school level, spending five seasons at Belding High School and three years at Caledonia High School. In the offseason, Cooper is an active participant in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program, the league’s global basketball outreach platform that promotes leadership, education, sportsmanship and healthy living around the world.