Another member of the Oklahoma City Thunder family is leaving the organization to join the Portland Trail Blazers.
First David Vanterpool, who was the Thunder's pro scout, accepted new Blazers coach Terry Stott's offer to become one of his assistant coaches and now Tulsa 66ers head coach Dale Osbourne has done the same.
Stotts is a former star player for the Oklahoma Sooners and has been an NBA head coach and a top assistant for years.
Osbourne took over as the 66ers head coach a few games into last season when then head coach Nate Tibbetts left to joins Byron Scott's staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Dale was a valued member of the Thunder, through his commitment and service to the organization, he has had an impact on both our team in Tulsa and Oklahoma City,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sam Presti. “Dale has worked tirelessly in the coaching profession and is more than deserving of this opportunity. Our goal is to focus on the development of not only our players, but also our coaches and staff with the Thunder and 66ers, and we are thrilled to see another member of the 66ers coaching staff continue their career by joining an NBA bench.”
With over 20 years of coaching experience, Osbourne helped lead the 66ers to two consecutive D-League playoff appearances before being named head coach five games into the 2011-12 season after Nate Tibbetts accepted that job in Cleveland.
“I’m very excited about Dale joining our staff,” Stotts told The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. “His diverse coaching background and experience at the college and D-League level will be very valuable in the development of our younger players both on the court and off.”
Prior to joining the 66ers in Tulsa, Osbourne spent time as an assistant coach with the D-League’s Utah Flash and Austin Toros. From 2004-06, Osbourne served as Head Coach and General Manager of the USBL Dodge City Legend, where he led the team to consecutive regular season and division championships in 2004 and 2005. Prior to his stint in the USBL, Osbourne spent seven seasons at the University of South Alabama, where he helped guide his alma mater to a pair of Sun Belt conferences titles.
In addition to Vanterpool and Osbourne joining the Trail Blazers the Thunder organization also lost assistant GM Rob Hennigan to the Orlando Magic this off-season. The Magic named him their general manager a few weeks ago.
Presti takes a lot of pride in the franchise's ability to not only develop outstanding players at the NBA level but to do the same with members of the coaching and front office staffs.
In addition to Osbourne and Tibbetts, nine Tulsa players have received call-ups to NBA teams in the past four seasons.
No official word yet from the Thunder on who will replace Osbourne as head coach of the 66ers.