Sonics exercise option on coach Bob Hill
The Seattle SuperSonics have exercised the contractual option for the 2006-07 season for the team’s head coach Bob Hill, Sonics General Manager Rick Sund announced today.
“Based on the progress we’ve made as a team over the last third of the season, Bob is the best candidate to get the Sonics back to the playoffs next year,” said Sund. “The playoffs are still our number-one goal, and it’s important for the players and assistant coaches to know that Bob is going to be the head coach next season. We continue to move forward as a team in a positive direction for next season.”
Hill took over as head coach of the Sonics on Jan. 3, 2006, which was followed by the club making a number of trades in February. Seattle acquired Chris Wilcox from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 14 in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic. Nine days later, the club acquired Earl Watson from Denver in a four-team, nine-player deal that sent Reggie Evans to the Nuggets and Vitaly Potapenko to the Sacramento Kings. The Sonics have compiled a 13-8 (.619) record in games in which both Watson and Wilcox have played. The club has a 21-29 (.420) record under Hill and is 34-46 (.425) overall this season with two games remaining.
“I’m grateful to the Sonics organization for this opportunity,” said Hill. “I am impressed with the attitude of this team and I’m truly excited about the club’s direction heading into next season.”
A veteran of the coaching ranks, Bob Hill has 30-plus years of basketball coaching experience. He has held coaching positions in the NBA, CBA and NCAA, as well as in international competition. Most noted for his time in San Antonio as an NBA head coach, Hill compiled a 124-58 (.681) record from 1994 through 1996 with the Spurs. San Antonio won two division titles with Hill at the helm and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 1995 before falling to the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets. Hill’s most recent head coaching job before joining the Sonics this season was with Fordham University from 1999 through 2002.
Hill has spent 11 seasons in the NBA coaching ranks and holds an overall NBA head-coaching record of 278-241 (.536). Hill served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, and as an assistant with the Orlando Magic and the Knicks. In addition to his NBA résumé, Hill spent the 1988-89 season as head coach of the Italian Cup Champion Vitrus Knorr in the Italian Basketball League.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Hill earned a master’s degree in secondary education one year later. His various NCAA assistant coaching positions have included Bowling Green (1971 through 1975), the University of Pittsburgh (1975 through 1977) and the University of Kansas (1977 through 1985).