The Memphis Grizzlies have reassigned Kevin O’Neill to the new role of special assistant to the general manager, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.
“Kevin O’Neill was instrumental in our draft preparations last year, which resulted in bringing O.J. Mayo and Darrell Arthur to the Grizzlies,” Wallace said. “Kevin is a very valuable resource for us. He has the rare combination of college coaching experience, as he was recently a head collegiate coach for a NCAA Tournament-caliber team, and he has a perspective of a NBA coach. We are eager to have Kevin’s input in our draft evaluation process again this year.”
O’Neill, a 29-year coaching veteran in the college and pro ranks, was named an assistant coach on June 17, 2008 after serving 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.
A seven-year veteran in the NBA coaching circles with the New York Knicks (2000-01, assistant), Detroit Pistons (2001-03, assistant), Toronto Raptors (2003-04, head coach), Indiana Pacers (2004-06, assistant) and Memphis (2008-09, assistant), O’Neill was a well-known figure on the college scene as the head coach at Marquette University (1989-94), Tennessee (1994-97) and Northwestern University (1997-2000). The Great Midwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 (Marquette) has also seen duty as an assistant coach at Arizona (1986-89) under Hall of Famer Lute Olson, the University of Tulsa (1985-86) and the University of Delaware (1983-85).