Wizards’ Wes Unseld Jr. Transitioning To Front Office Role

8:44am: Top assistant Brian Keefe will serve as the Wizards’ interim coach for the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). As noted below, the team will conduct a full search for a permanent head coach during the offseason.

7:08am: Wes Unseld Jr. will no longer serve as the head coach of the Wizards, according to the team, which announced in a press release today that Unseld will transition to a front office advisory role.

“After several thoughtful conversations with Wes, we determined together that a change was needed for the benefit of the team,” Wizards president Michael Winger said in a statement. “Wes embodies the characteristics we value in our organization, and his vast basketball experience will be an asset to the front office as we progress toward our long-term goals. We are thankful that he will continue his contributions to our organization and community.”

“I am grateful to have served as head coach of the Washington Wizards,” Unseld said. “I look forward to this new opportunity to work toward our organization’s continued progress.”

According to the Wizards, an interim head coach will be named shortly, with the club launching a “comprehensive” search for a new permanent head coach in the offseason.

The son of former Wizards star Wes Unseld Sr., Wes Jr. was hired as the Wizards’ head coach in 2021 after having served as an assistant in Washington, Golden State, Orlando, and Denver from 2005-21. He led the club to a 35-47 record in each of his first two seasons and was off to a 7-36 start in 2023/24, for an overall record of 77-130 (.372). Washington didn’t make the playoffs or the play-in tournament during his tenure.

The Wizards conducted an overhaul of their front office during the 2023 offseason, dismissing former president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard and hiring Winger and general manager Will Dawkins to run the show. With a retooling of the roster also underway, there was a sense that the new executives may want to bring in their own coach and that Unseld’s days on the Wizards’ bench might be numbered.

After losing at home to Minnesota on Wednesday, the Wizards will host the Jazz in the second end of a back-to-back set on Thursday night, so they’ll name an interim coach at some point today.

Unseld is the second head coach to be replaced this season — and this week. The Bucks parted ways with Adrian Griffin on Tuesday.

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