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Former Illini Brian Randle joins Phoenix Suns as assistant coach

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Brian Randle,  Jeff Jordan

Former Illini men's basketball player Brian Randle, left, laughs with former teammate Jeff Jordan. Randle was hired by the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach.

Brian Randle's coaching career took a big step on Tuesday.

The Phoenix Suns announced the addition of Brian as an assistant coach on the team’s coaching staff. Randle joins the Suns following two seasons on the staff of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“My family and I are incredibly excited to join the Phoenix Suns,” Randle said in a team-issued news release. “I couldn’t be more excited to work with and learn from Coach Monty Williams. The Suns have a strong young core with a great future ahead; I am grateful and humbled for this opportunity.”

Randle, 35, played basketball at the University of Illinois at  from 2003-2008. The native of East Peoria played 121 career games for the Illini, averaging 7.0 points and 4.5 rebounds, and was named a Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection in 2005-06. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Randle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Finance and a Master’s in Sports Management from Illinois.

Randle spent last season as a player development coach with the Timberwolves, his second season in Minnesota after first joining their staff as assistant video coordinator for the 2018-19 season. He entered the coaching world following 10 seasons playing professionally overseas, primarily in Israel with stops in Germany and Italy. Randle was named the Israeli League Defensive Player of the Year a league-record three times (2009, 2014 and 2015) and helped guide his teams to a Eurocup Final Four appearance in 2017, two Israeli Cups (2015, 2016) and an Israeli League championship in 2010.

“We truly enjoyed our time in Minnesota and will always love our Timberwolves family,” Randle added. “I think I have a unique perspective on basketball from my 10 years playing in Europe and my time under Coaches (Tom) Thibodeau and (Ryan) Saunders. I bring a strong defensive mindset which has been shaped over the years by coaches such as Bruce Weber, Tom Thibodeau and Guy Goodess.”


PHOTOS: 31 amazing Illini basketball history photos

Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25

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