Former Gaucho Great Brian Shaw Named Head Coach of Denver Nuggets

Brian Shaw (L) and Paul George (R). Shaw, a former UCSB great, was named head coach of the Denver Nuggets. NBAE/Getty Images

DENVER, Colo. - The Denver Nuggets have named former UC Santa Barbara star Brian Shaw as the 20th head coach in franchise history, team president Josh Kroenke announced Tuesday.

Shaw joins the Nuggets after two seasons as associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers, who advanced to the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, who won two NBA titles while Shaw was a member of the coaching staff.

"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.

"As a player and a coach, my primary goal has always been to win a championship. I sincerely believe that Josh and Tim share that same vision."

Shaw, 47, is a five-time NBA champion who played a major role in helping forward Paul George and center Roy Hibbert develop into All-Stars during his two seasons in Indiana. The Pacers went 49-32 and finished with the third-best record in the East in 2012-13.

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

During his time in Los Angeles, Shaw assisted 11-time title-winning coach Phil Jackson and worked closely with All-Stars such as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Shaquille O'Neal.

"I was extremely impressed with Brian's intelligence, knowledge of the game, and intangible qualities, both when he played for me and when he was an assistant coach on my staff," Jackson said. "He's one of the brightest young coaches in the game and has a great future. I commend the Nuggets for recognizing this and for giving him this opportunity."

Drafted 24th overall by Boston in 1988, Shaw played 14 NBA seasons with Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and L.A. Lakers. He was a member of Los Angeles' back-to-back-to-back title teams (2000, 2001 and 2002) and he won a gold medal with Team USA at the 1986 FIBA World Championship.

"Through his experiences as a player and a coach, Brian has a proven track record of success," Connelly said. "He has been around some of the greatest players in NBA history and studied highly respected coaching styles with both L.A. and Indiana."

Shaw played collegiately at Saint Mary's College of California and UC Santa Barbara, where he was the Big West Conference Player of the Year in 1988. The Gauchos later retired his No. 22 jersey.

Shaw and his wife Nikki have three children, Brianna, B.J. and Bianca.

Story courtesy of DenverNuggets.com