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Bulls Thu Jun 18 2015

Hoiberg's Coaching Staff Coming Together for the Bulls

BullsFred Hoiberg's coaching staff is slowly coming together as the Bulls have officially hired Jim Boylen as associate head coach. Boylen is no novice to the game -- he's coached at both the college and pro levels for more than 30 years.

Hoiberg has expressed his desire to add a seasoned veteran to his coaching staff. Boylen meets all those requirements and Hoiberg expressed his enthusiasm for the new associate head coach.

"I am very excited to add Jim to our staff as our associate head coach,'' Hoiberg said in a statement released by the team. "His track record speaks for itself with nearly 30 years of coaching experience and three NBA championships on his resume."

And boy, do Boylen's accomplishments speak for themselves. His NBA career began in 1992 when he served as a video coordinator and scout for the Houston Rockets. Not long after, he was promoted to an assistant coach on Rudy Tomjanovich's staff and got two championships during his 11-year tenure there. Boylen has had other assistant coaching stops along the way including some with the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs.

It should also be noted that Jim Boylen is not Jim Boylan, who was the interim coach for the Bulls during the 2007-2008 season after Scott Skiles was fired. It's a good thing it's not the same guy, as Boylan's interim coaching tenure was a disaster, with the Bulls going 24-32.

It's too early to call something a success this soon into the NBA offseason -- everyone in the Bay is still hungover from their championship win -- but this hire is definitely a win for the Bulls. After the tumultuous exit of former head coach Tom Thibodeau, it was important for the Bulls to start the offseason on a good note. Most of the residents of Chicago have their pitchforks ready for John Paxson and Gar Forman and they have good reason to. The two executives seemed to have meddled in some of Thibodeau's basketball decisions in the past, what with canning his assistants and imposing time restrictions for players. But Paxson and Forman are not the ones coaching the team, or so they'd have you believe.

Paxson and Forman would benefit from a PR makeover, but the important thing here is basketball. Hoiberg was known for his fast-paced offense at Iowa State and he will bring that mindset to the Bulls this year, but don't forget that he is still a rookie coach. With Boylen, you have a defense specialist and someone who has studied under some of the most respected coaches in the game. This should be a good yin and yang philosophy for the coming season. Hoiberg will be able to turn to Boylen during crunch time and get some advice about what to do in pressure situations. They may not have some of the same quirks as Thibodeau, but Hoiberg and Boylen should prove to be a dynamic duo.

The other members of Hoiberg's staff are a bit up in the air. Assistant coach Mike Wilhelm, who has been with the Bulls since 2002, is expected to stay and Hoiberg has reached out to former assistant Pete Myers about returning to the club. Fresh faces are nice, but bringing back some old faces could help bridge the gap between Hoiberg and the players.

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