Shaw finally gets shot at head coaching

After nine years of being an NBA assistant coach, UCSB alum Brian Shaw has been hired by the Denver Nuggets to be their next head coach. First reported on Monday, the Nuggets made it official on Tuesday.

Shaw replaces NBA Coach of the Year George Karl after a contract dispute led to the Nuggets letting him go in early June. Shaw takes over a team that posted a 57-25 regular season record – third best in the Western Conference.

“I appreciate the opportunity that the Kroenke family, general manager Tim Connelly and the entire Nuggets organization have given me,” Shaw said. “Josh has built a quality team and front office and I look forward to joining that nucleus. It’s a talented roster with a great foundation.”

The roster includes local product Julyan Stone, who graduated from Dos Pueblos High School.

Shaw was an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers for seven years under Phil Jackson and then two years as associate head coach for the Indiana Pacers. He had been considered for several head coaching jobs in recent years, including being interviewed for the Los Angeles Clippers job that just went to Doc Rivers.

Shaw has plenty of championship experience, having won five NBA titles as a player and coach.

“After completing a thorough process, we are thrilled to welcome Brian as the next head coach of the Denver Nuggets,” said Nuggets General Manager Stan Kroenke. “He brings a remarkable pedigree of success as both a championship player and a championship coach.”

Shaw played two years at UCSB, where he was the Big West Conference Player of the Year in 1988. The Oakland native transfered to Santa Barbara after two years at St. Mary’s. The Boston Celtics drafted him with their first-round pick in 1988.

Current Indiana Pacer Orlando Johnson, who also played at UCSB and was the first Gaucho drafted by an NBA team since Shaw, congratulated his former coach on Twitter.

“Congrats to B. Shaw on the hiring. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy, learned a lot from him this past year…good luck #gauchos,” posted Johnson.