Timberwolves Coach Flip Saunders Passes Away at Age 60
Minnesota Timberwolves coach, team president and part-owner, Flip Saunders, passed away this morning at age 60. Saunders, who won more than 650 games in an NBA coaching career that spanned 17 seasons, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma back in June, although doctors at the time said the cancer was “treatable and curable” when Saunders revealed his condition publicly in August.
Besides having a close affiliation with the Timberwolves, Saunders also spent time at the helm of the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. He coached Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals during the 2003-2004 season and the Pistons to three straight Eastern Conference Finals, but never reached an NBA Finals as a coach.
In addition to his time working in the NBA, Saunders also spent time coaching at the collegiate level, as well as serving as head coach for three Continental Basketball Association teams, including the La Crosse Catbirds in the late-1980s and early-1990s.
The Timberwolves have posted a brief comment on the team website, saying, “It is with extreme sadness that the Minnesota Timberwolves today learned that Phil ‘Flip’ Saunders, who served as the team’s President of Basketball Operations and Had Coach, in addition to being a minority owner of the team, passed away today at age 60. The organization will follow up with more information as it becomes available.”