The Phoenix Suns announced the additions of Jerry Sichting, Mike Longabardi, Kenny Gattison and Mark West as assistant coaches, Irving Roland as a player development assistant, and Scott Vaughan as advance scout.
Vaughan, the Suns’ new advance scout, joins Phoenix after serving in the same role with the Utah Jazz since 2007, aiding the preparation of a coaching staff that included Hornacek.
A former player and graduate assistant at Dallas Baptist University, Vaughan graduated with a degree in business administration. Before his time in the NBA, Vaughan was a high school and college athletic director, most recently at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
Vaughan has coached his son’s high school basketball team to two state titles. He and his wife, Lynelle, have four children: Kyler, Kensen, Skylan, Kaden.
“I’m very excited to complete my coaching staff with such established, well-rounded basketball people,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. “We were able to add offensive minds, defensive minds, former players and experienced coaches. What they all have in common is a willingness to work hard, communicate well, and help our players and our team get better every day.”
A 24-year career as an NBA player, coach and executive has led Sichting to the Suns’ bench after last season serving as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. In addition to his time in the nation’s capital, Sichting’s bench experience includes 11 seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves (1996-06, 2007-09), Golden State Warriors (2010-11) and Marquette University (2006-07). He was an assistant under head coach Flip Saunders and helped lead the Timberwolves’ young franchise to its first winning season (1997-98), first 50-win season (1999-00), first playoff appearance (1996-97) and to the first Western Conference Finals in team history (2003-04).
A 10-year NBA veteran as a player, Sichting began his front office career in 1995-96 as the director of scouting and player development for Minnesota before moving to the bench; he was also the team’s director of pro personnel in 2009-10 before joining Golden State.
Originally selected in the fourth round (82nd overall) of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, the former Purdue Boilermaker saw action with the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in his decade-long career. He averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 assists in 598 career games, made two trips to the NBA Finals (1986, 1987) and was a member of the 1986 NBA Champion Boston Celtics. Sichting was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Jerry and his wife, Joni, have four children: Jared, Jason, Jordan and Jenna.
Longabardi joins the Suns after six seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers. His tenure in Boston, which began in 2007-08, included three appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, two trips to the NBA Finals, and the 2008 NBA title.
Longabardi made the jump to Boston after previously spending four seasons with the Houston Rockets alongside defensive specialist Tom Thibodeau, a former assistant in both Houston and Boston, now the head coach of the Chicago Bulls.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, and graduate of Frostburg State University, Longabardi was an assistant coach on the collegiate level for seven seasons with stints at Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University.
He and his wife, Andreana, have two daughters, Olivia and Francesca.
Gattison returns to Phoenix, the team that originally drafted him in 1986 with the 55th overall selection (third round), the club’s subsequent pick after Hornacek (second round, 46th overall). Gattison spent three seasons with the Suns (1986-89) as a teammate of both Hornacek and West.
A 10-year veteran of the NBA coaching ranks, the 49-year-old most recently served as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks (2010-12), which followed stints in New Orleans (2003-09) and New Jersey (1996-99), as well as at his alma mater, Old Dominion University (2001-03).