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
31 amazing Illini basketball history photos
Lou Henson in 1993
Easy does it
Free for all
Hero of the hour
Illinois v. Iowa
Talk of the Big Ten
To the wire
Whiz Kids Big Ten champs in '42, '43
Wrong, Mr. Referee
Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
Nate Hobbs stood on a bench just outside the Champaign Police Department on Monday afternoon with hundreds of University of Illinois students, student-athletes, coaches and administrators filling up the streets with all their eyes and cameras on him.
Brad Underwood knows expectations come along with returning two of the league's top players, which means returning four of five starters, bringing in a stellar recruiting class and adding a pair of sit-out transfers that Underwood has spoken highly of for a year.