Utah Jazz: Jeff Hornacek hired to be Phoenix Suns' head coach, according to reports
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Jeff Hornacek is going home.
Unfortunately for Jazz fans, his home isn't in Utah where his No. 14 jersey is hanging in the rafters at EnergySolutions Arena.
Rather, Hornacek has been hired as the Phoenix Suns' head coach after agreeing to terms on a guaranteed three-year contract, according to multiple media reports.
The former Jazz sharpshooter and assistant coach will formalize the deal by Monday morning, according to The Arizona Republic.
Hornacek was a runner-up for a previous head coach opening for the Suns, who instead hired Terry Porter in 2008.
Nobody from the Jazz organization has commented on the development, but it would be a likely move for player development coach Brad Jones to be promoted to a full-time assistant position on Tyrone Corbin's staff in Utah. Jones' assistant, former Ute guard Johnnie Bryant, is another in-house possibility for either of those positions.
More recently, Hornacek has been interviewed for jobs in Charlotte and Philadelphia. Last offseason, Hornacek was among the finalists for the Orlando job, which eventually went to his former Jazz teammate Jacque Vaughn. In 2004, even without any coaching experience, he was also a leading candidate for the Boston Celtics' gig in 2004 that went to Doc Rivers.
Hornacek has remained a popular figure in Phoenix, where he maintained a residence even after becoming Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin's assistant in 2011 after Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan's midseason resignation.
The 50-year-old began his 14-year NBA career with the Suns after being drafted 46th overall out of Iowa State. He played in Phoenix from 1986 through 1992, when he was traded to Philadelphia for Charles Barkley.
In 1994, Hornacek was shipped to Utah, where he teamed with John Stockton and Karl Malone to make two trips to the NBA Finals before retiring in 2000.
Hornacek, an All-Star with Phoenix, began helping Sloan as a part-time shooting coach in 2007, allowing him to spend time with his wife, Stacy, and three children, who remained in Arizona during the season.
Phoenix didn't waste much time in hiring Hornacek after what the Arizona Republic described as "impressive interviews" with the organization's new management last week.
In Utah, Hornacek spent a lot of time working on shooting techniques with the Jazz players. He has worked extensively with younger guys, including Gordon Hayward.
"His coaching style brings a lot of the intelligence that he was known for as a player," the Repubic's Paul Coro wrote, "and an even-keeled demeanor that can turn disciplinarian when necessary."
Interestingly, Hornacek is the brother-in-law of Suns athletic trainer Aaron Nelson.
Hornacek will be the Suns' 16th head coach and its fifth since the 2007-08 season. Lindsey Hunter was hired on an interim basis during this past season after Alvin Gentry was fired.
Phoenix had the worst record in the Western Conference last season, finishing 25-57. It was the second-worst mark in franchise history (16-66 in 1968-69).
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