Timberwolves president, head coach Flip Saunders dies at 60

Jesse Johnson / USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has died at age 60, the team announced Sunday.

Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in August, and then-assistant coach Sam Mitchell was named interim head coach as Saunders underwent treatment.

On Saturday, team owner Glen Taylor said Saunders was not expected to return this season.

Saunders joined the team in May 1995 as general manager. The following month at the draft, he, along with then-vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale, was instrumental in selecting a transcendent player out of high school: The Timberwolves picked Kevin Garnett, who would become the face of the franchise for the better part of a decade.

Early in the 1995-96 season, Saunders was tasked with head coaching duties, and kept the position for the next 10 years.

Saunders brought the team from the cellar of the Western Conference to its very first playoff berth in 1996-97 in his first full season as the Wolves' bench boss.

The height of his achievements with the franchise came in 2003-04. The top-ranked team made it to the Western Conference finals - led by Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, and Sam Cassell - but eventually lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

After the 2004-05 season, Saunders left the organization and had two three-year stints with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.

He returned to the Wolves in 2013.

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Timberwolves president, head coach Flip Saunders dies at 60
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