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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 08:53:30am
Author: peacack
Subject: Congratulations to John Coffino

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., October 7, 2008 The Albuquerque Thunderbirds announced today that 2007-2008 assistant coach John Coffino has been named the Thunderbirds Head Coach for the 2008-2009 season. Coffino will be joined on the bench by two former NBA players, Darvin Ham and Dean Garrett, who will serve as his assistants.

Coffino joined the Thunderbirds' staff in 2007 as an assistant coach in the team's third season under Jeff Ruland. He becomes the Thunderbirds' third head coach in the team's four-year history.

Coffino, 45, has spent nine years as a Division I assistant coach: at Iona College from 1997-1999, at Niagara University from 1999-2002, and at St. Peter's College from 2002-2006.

Said Coffino: "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this team, increase the presence of the organization and to continue the contributions we are making to the Albuquerque community."

Ham, 35, returns to the Albuquerque Thunderbirds after being the No.1 draft pick for the Thunderbirds in 2007. Ham averaged 10.1ppg and 5.6 rpg. He came highly recommended by two of his former NBA coaches, Larry Brown and George Karl.

Ham played with six teams in the NBA from 1996-97 to 2004-05. He spent the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons with the Detroit Pistons, where he won an NBA championship in 2004. Ham was with the Atlanta Hawks in 2002-03, the Milwaukee Bucks for three seasons from 1999 to 2002 and with the Washington Bullets in 1997-98. He spent his rookie season with the NBA Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers.

Ham has played internationally in Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Spain. Ham has also performed work as an NBA studio analyst for Fox Sports Southwest.

Coffino said: "Having Coach Ham join our staff will be an easy transition for all of us. Darvin's experience as part of an NBA Championship team proves that he has a wealth of information to share with young players. Darvin was born to coach and is a natural leader on and off the court."

Garrett, 41, comes to the Thunderbirds after a long career in the NBA and as an NCAA standout. He played collegiately at Indiana University, where he was a member of the 1987 NCAA Championship team with UNM Head Coach Steve Alford.

Coach Alford said: "I am very excited for Dean and his opportunity with a quality organization like the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. He has wanted to get into coaching for some time and I know he will do an excellent job for the T-Birds. Dean is a great individual and close friend and I am excited that he will be in Albuquerque."

At Indiana, Garrett earned a reputation for being a solid scorer and tireless rebounder for Hoosier coach Bob Knight. He averaged 11.4 ppg and 8.5 rpg in his junior season and his numbers jumped to 16.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg during his senior year (1987-88). His efforts were noticed by the Phoenix Suns, who made Garrett the 38th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.

Garrett played in Europe (Italy and Greece) from 1988-1996. In 1996 Garrett began his NBA career when he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He went on to play six years in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. His best year as a pro came during the 1997-98 NBA season when he started in all 82 games for the Nuggets, averaging 7.3 ppg.

Coffino said: "Dean Garrett is another assistant coach who knows what it takes to win. Coach Garrett has proven that he knows what it takes to develop our bigger players and his people skills make him a wonderful addition to our community."

Owner Sam Bregman commented on this year's coaching staff: "We are very excited to have three coaches that know basketball, know the NBA, and will take the TBIRDS to a championship."

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[> Re: Congratulations to John Coffino -- Range Wars, Friday, October 10, 07:51:28pm [1]

A hot-air balloon crashed in Albuquerque today. It was not Coffinno.

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[> Re: Congratulations to John Coffino -- Jack Ryan, Saturday, October 11, 03:19:02pm [1]

I told a friend about the appointment. He went to the Thunderbird web site and says that Coffino is an assistant. Could you please re-check your sourse? I spoke to this person over the phone, so, I could not confirm either fact.

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[> [> Re: Congratulations to John Coffino -- Jack Ryan, Saturday, October 11, 03:30:58pm [1]

I finally got to the Thunderbird web site. Coffino is indeed the head coach. Sorry for the mistake.

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[> Re: Congratulations to John Coffino -- coffino fan club, Thursday, October 23, 11:59:18am [1]

Dont say congrats to coffino now, because all you guys were glad that he didnt get the head coaching them here. And you guys were all glad when dunne didnt keep him on the staff. Well he is in a better place right now with a great staff and owner that will take care of him. You guys should not care where he is at now cause you guys didnt care about him before while he was here.

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