Add former Wolfpacker Vinny Del Negro to the list of Jim Valvano’s former players who have made a big splash in basketball years after their playing careers ended.
Multiple media reports indicate that Del Negro is set to become the Head Coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
The deal isn’t complete, but sources said Del Negro will sign a two-year contract with a team option for a third season and be paid roughly $2 million annually. That will make him one of the league’s lowest-paid coaches.
Del Negro is considering hiring former Spurs, Sonics, Knicks and Pacers coach Bob Hill as his lead assistant, sources said.
That Del Negro, most recently the Suns’ assistant general manager, edged out former Minnesota coach Dwane Casey despite having no coaching experience was viewed with surprise around the league. The Bulls offered no official word on the impending hire.
Del Negro joins current NC State Head Coach, Sidney Lowe and one of the NBA’s best current coaches, Nate McMillan as former players from Coach Valvano’s NC State program to have become Head Coaches of NBA franchises. Add Dereck Whittenburg, Andy Kennedy and Terry Gannon’s prominence as a successful college coaches and as an ABC television announcer and one builds a very strong case to stick in the eye of the army of naysayers who criticized the ‘character’ of Valvano’s players and teams in the 1980s.