Sonics fire Bob Weiss, promote Bob Hill to head coach
The Seattle SuperSonics today announced that Sonics assistant and former NBA head coach Bob Hill has been named the team’s head coach replacing Bob Weiss, Sonics General Manager Rick Sund said. Weiss will remain with the Sonics organization in an advisory role.
“Bob Weiss has been a solid part of the Sonics coaching staff for many years,” said Sund. “He and I agreed that a change needed to be made to serve as a catalyst for elevating the performance of our team, and the timing is right for us today. He is a good man with an outstanding basketball mind and we look forward to his continued association with the organization.”
Weiss, 63, initially joined the Sonics staff as an assistant coach in 1994. He was originally a member of the Sonics organization as a player when he became part of the franchise’s 1967 inaugural roster. He has a combined 39 years experience in the NBA, including 27 seasons as a coach.
“Over the past 11-plus seasons, the Sonics have the fifth-best winning record in the NBA including four division titles. Bob Weiss has been a significant contributor to that success,” said Sonics & Storm President and CEO Wally Walker. “His loyalty and insights have been extremely valuable to this organization. We thank him for all of his efforts and look forward to an ongoing relationship with him.”
A veteran of the coaching ranks, Bob Hill brings 30-plus years of basketball coaching experience to his new role as Sonics head coach. He has held coaching positions in the NBA, CBA, NCAA, as well as international competition. His most recent head coaching job was with Fordham University from 1999-2002. Most noted for his time in San Antonio, Hill compiled a 124-58 (.681) record from 1994-96 with the Spurs. The Spurs won two division titles with him at the helm and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 1995 before falling to the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets.
Hill has spent 10 seasons in the NBA coaching ranks, and holds an overall NBA head-coaching record of 257-212 (.548). 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 resume, Hill spent the 1988-89 season as head coach of the Italian Cup Champion Vitrus Knorr in the Italian Basketball League.
Hill graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and earned a master’s degree in secondary education a year later. His various NCAA assistant coaching positions have included Bowling Green (1971-75), University of Pittsburgh (1975-77) and the University of Kansas (1977-85).
“I’m pleased with this opportunity to help this team,” said Hill. “This Sonics squad has the talent and Coach Weiss had them setting their goals high. It’s my responsibility now to help them reach those goals.”
“With Bob Hill’s experience and success as a coach in the NBA, we believe he will help us towards our goal of making the playoffs this season,”said Sund.
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