|Birth Day:||February 23, 1955|
|Birth Place:||Cleveland, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He returned to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, to coach for five years before joining the NBA.
Saunders began his coaching career at Golden Valley Lutheran College where he compiled a 92–13 record, including a perfect 56–0 mark at home, in four seasons. In 1981, he became an assistant coach at his alma mater, Minnesota, and helped guide the Golden Gophers to the Big Ten championship that season. After five seasons at Minnesota, he became an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa where he worked for two seasons before heading to the pro ranks.
Saunders joined the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on May 11, 1995 as general manager, working under his former Minnesota teammate, Kevin McHale. On December 18, 1995, Saunders was named head coach of the Timberwolves, replacing Bill Blair.
After the Timberwolves' success in the 2003–04 NBA season, in which they won their first (and to date, only) division title and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, they struggled in the 2004–05 season. On February 12, 2005, McHale fired Saunders and named himself head coach for the rest of the season. McHale was unable to right the ship, and the Wolves missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Many fans believed that Saunders' firing was unwarranted, citing instead the contract troubles of Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell as the reasons for the team's failure. However, many also acknowledged that Saunders had coached ten years in Minnesota, and perhaps a new voice was needed.
Saunders replaced Larry Brown as coach of the Detroit Pistons on July 21, 2005. Under Saunders, the team set a new franchise record for wins during the regular season, finishing with a 64–18 record. Saunders coached the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas.
According to Saunders, he was about 20 yards (18 m) (60 feet) away from the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse on August 1, 2007 in Minneapolis.
Saunders was fired June 3, 2008 after the Pistons lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight time; Detroit president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said the team needed a "new voice".
On April 14, 2009, Saunders reached an agreement to become the new coach of the Washington Wizards. The deal was reportedly worth $18 million over 4 years.
On January 24, 2012, Saunders was fired as the coach of the Wizards. Replaced by former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman, Saunders departed the Wizards with a record of 51–130.
On April 29, 2012, Saunders joined the Boston Celtics as an advisor.
On May 3, 2013, Saunders was named the Timberwolves' President of Basketball Operations. On June 5, 2014, Saunders was named head coach as well. During his recovery from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he delegated his duties within the front office to the team's general manager Milt Newton.
On June 6, 2014, Saunders was named the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, returning to the franchise for a second stint. During his second stint with the Timberwolves, Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. During his recovery, he delegated his coaching position to assistant coach and former NBA Coach of the Year winner Sam Mitchell. His 427 wins during parts of ten seasons in two stints are the most in franchise history and, until the 2017–18 season, he was the only coach to lead the Timberwolves to a winning season or coach a playoff game.
On August 11, 2015, Saunders announced he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, for which he was undergoing treatment. Saunders planned to remain the Timberwolves' head coach and president. However, after Saunders was hospitalized for more than a month following complications in September, team owner Glen Taylor announced that Saunders would miss the next season. Saunders died on October 25, 2015 at the age of 60. On February 15, 2018, the Timberwolves held a "Flip Saunders Night" during which a permanent banner was unveiled in the Target Center honoring Saunders. A little over three years after his death, Flip's son Ryan Saunders took over as the Timberwolves' head coach following the firing of Tom Thibodeau.
On January 4, 2020, the south gymnasium at Cuyahoga Heights High School in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio was renamed in Flip's honor. The event was attended by Flip's wife Debbie Saunders, Flip's son and current Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders, other members of the Saunders' family as well as by the entire 2020 Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team.
Flip's son Ryan followed in his footsteps, playing college basketball at the University of Minnesota.
Currently, Flip Saunders is 66 years, 0 months and 6 days old. Flip Saunders will celebrate 67th birthday on a Wednesday 23rd of February 2022. Below we countdown to Flip Saunders upcoming birthday.
Patrol: Karl-Anthony Towns misses second game after being injured in collision on 35W
The State Patrol said the Timberwolves All-Star had a minor injury as a result of Thursday's car crash and declined treatment at the scene. He missed a second consecutive game Saturday.
Happy birthday: Flip Saunders would have been 61 today
It's fitting that the Timberwolves earned a 124-122 win over the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night. In a way, it's was a birthday victory for former head