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Hornacek returns to Suns as head coach

<p>The Phoenix Suns made it official on Tuesday and named Jeff Hornacek their new head coach.</p>

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns made it official on Tuesday and named Jeff Hornacek their new head coach.

Hornacek played 468 games with the Suns from 1986-92 and spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz. He was also a shooting coach for three years with the Jazz before becoming a full-time assistant.

"We are thrilled to introduce Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns," said Suns general manager Ryan McDonough. "Jeff has all of the qualities we were looking for in a head coach -- he is a leader, a teacher and a student of the game. Jeff's name has been high on our list ever since my first interview with the Suns. His successes as a player and as an assistant coach, along with his deep ties to this franchise and this community, give us confidence that he will do great things as the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns."

The Suns selected Hornacek in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft. He averaged 13.7 points with the franchise before being traded to Philadelphia in the summer of 1992 as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Charles Barkley to Phoenix.

Hornacek spent just one full season with the 76ers, then played for Utah from 1994-2000. He helped the Jazz to NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and '98.

In 1,077 career NBA games over 14 seasons, Hornacek averaged 14.5 points and reached the playoffs 11 times. He was a 1992 All-Star and finished his career as the one of the top shooters in the NBA, connecting on 40.3 percent from beyond the arc and 87.7 percent from the free throw line.

Hornacek will take over a Phoenix team that was just 25-57 this past season. Alvin Gentry was fired as head coach in January and interim Lindsey Hunter was not retained following the team's worst season since a 16-66 mark in its inaugural campaign of 1968-69.

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