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Timberwolves hire Dwane Casey as coach

MINNEAPOLIS, June 17 (UPI) -- Seattle Sonics assistant Dwane Casey was hired Friday as the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Casey spent 11 years on the Sonics' staff, the last four under Nate McMillan. Before that, the 48-year-old Casey served as a head coach in Japan for five years.

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"We feel that Dwane has the qualities and characteristics that will enable him to have success with the team we have assembled," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "I speak for the entire organization when I say that we are excited to have Dwane on board as a member of the Wolves. We are looking forward to watching him lead our team."

Casey helped Kentucky win the national championship in 1978 and is an ex-assistant at his alma mater. He beat out a number of candidates to get his first NBA head coach's post.

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