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Charlotte Hornets coaching hunt roundup, what we know so far

The Hornets have been very active in their search for a new head coach.

NBA: Preseason-Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the list of who the Hornets have had confirmed contact with:

  • David Fizdale
  • Ettore Messina
  • Jerry Stackhouse
  • Ime Udoka
  • Jay Larranaga
  • David Vanterpool
  • James Borrego

At the Hive writer Strika24 posted profiles of Fizdale, Messina, and Stackhouse back on April 17th. You can find that here. I wrote about the Hornets interest in Udoka here.

The Jay Larranaga news flew under the radar and didn’t gain much national attention, but it was reported by NBC Sports Boston.

Larranaga has been an assistant on the Boston Celtics staff since 2012 and survived the arrival of new head coach Brad Stevens in 2013. He is the son of longtime college coach Jim Larranage, who currently coaches the Miami Hurricanes mens basketball team.

After an accomplished career playing professionally in Europe, Jay was hired as head coach of the Erie Bayhawks. In his two seasons in Erie, he accumulated a 60-40 win/loss record and had eight different players receive call ups to the NBA. In 2013, after one season as an assistant with Boston, he was interviewed to replace the Celtics’ head coaching vacancy created by the departure of Doc Rivers. He was ultimately passed over in favor of Brad Stevens but has maintained his status as Stevens’ top assistant.

Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news yesterday that the Hornets were interviewing Blazers assistant David Vanterpool.

Like Larranaga, Vanterpool has expansive experience playing professionally around the world, including a very brief stint in the NBA. The last stop of his playing career was with CSKA Moscow from 2005-2007, after which he immediately joined the team’s staff as an assistant coach. In August of 2012, he was recruited to join the Blazers coaching staff led by new hire Terry Stotts.

James Borrego was linked to the Hornets today by Wojnarowski.

Borrego got his start in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs with whom he served as an assistant coach for nine seasons. He then spent two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets before being named Jacque Vaughn’s top assistant in Orlando. Borrego took over as interim head coach upon Vaughn’s firing and commandeered the team to a 10-20 record over their final 30 games, an improvement on the 15-37 record the team had when he took over. Upon the completion of that season, Borrego rejoined the Spurs coaching staff.

New Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak is casting a wide net for this coaching staff, and every candidate linked to the team so far seems promising. None have extended experience in the NBA as head coaches, but all of them come from winning cultures. It’s refreshing to see the Hornets avoid the temptation of bringing aboard a retread head coach with a big name.