Wizards Name Brian Keefe Head Coach

The Wizards have hired former interim coach Brian Keefe as the franchise’s permanent head coach, according to a team release (Twitter link). Keefe was formerly named interim head coach in January after the Wizards moved Wes Unseld Jr. from his coaching position to a front office role.

We are excited for Brian to become our next head coach. Brian is a proven motivator and connector of people,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said in the team’s press release. “As a leader in the organization, he will continue to positively grow and invest into the development of our players. His wealth of experience will help move our team forward as we build for long-term sustained success.

Keefe joined the Wizards ahead of the 2023/24 season as an assistant coach. He also served the same role with Oklahoma City/Seattle (2007-15 and 2019/20), New York (2015/16), Los Angeles (2016-19) and Brooklyn (2021-23). He has earned a reputation as a good player development coach through his time in the league and inherits a roster with promising young players like Deni Avdija and Bilal Coulibaly.

I am grateful to [team president] Michael [Winger] and Will for the opportunity to lead the Washington Wizards,” Keefe said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with our players and helping them grow and develop. As a team, we are committed to a collaborative approach to build an environment of accountability and hard work that allows us to improve every day.

When Keefe took over as interim coach, Washington improved immediately on the defensive side of the ball and got marginally better results in the win-loss column, posting an 8-31 (.205) mark under Keefe after going 7-36 (.163) under Unseld. Holders of the No. 2 overall pick in the class, the Wizards look poised to build on their young core while continuing their defensive strength from the second half of the season.

Now that Washington has named a head coach, that leaves the Lakers and Cavaliers as the only teams yet to fill their head coaching positions for the ’24/25 season, barring any unforeseen changes.

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