Mississippi State women’s basketball interim head coach Doug Novak announced the addition of Bob Thornton to his staff as an assistant coach. Thornton brings with him an extensive coaching resume that extends nearly four decades.
“The addition to Coach [Bob] Thornton to our staff is going to pay big dividends down the road for us because of how great of a teacher he is,” interim head coach Doug Novak said. “Coach Thornton is a professional and he has played, and coached, the game at its highest level in the NBA. We’ve been friends for a long time, and to be able to bring in a guy that sees the game from the lens of a professional while also having great teaching skills, will go a long way in the development of our team.”
Thornton comes to Starkville with 38 years of coaching experience at both the professional and collegiate levels. He has spent 13 years as an NBA assistant coach and an additional 21 years in various professional roles and leagues worldwide. He got his start in coaching at Chapman University and Cal State Fullerton.
He is known around basketball circles as an excellent player development coach with expertise in developing forwards and centers. Thornton excels at designing, and teaching, both offensive and defensive concepts while putting together advanced scouting reports.
“The opportunity to come coach at Mississippi State is really exciting for me because I am coming to the highest level of collegiate basketball in the SEC,” assistant coach Bob Thornton said. “Mississippi State has a great history, and I love what Doug [Novak] does and how he coaches and just very excited to be here.”
Thornton spent nearly two decades in the NBA, where he served as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls. He has spent time as an advanced scout for the Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City Thunder. As an advanced scout, he assisted the franchise in scouting and eventually drafting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Thornton has spent time as a head coach with the NBA D-League’s, now the G-League, Huntsville Flights, and the Chinese Basketball Association’s Quad City Thunder.
Thornton, a graduate of UC Irvine, spent over a decade playing professional basketball. After getting his start in Spain, he spent time with the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and the Washington Wizards. He was coached by Jerry Sloan, Hubie Brown, Rick Pitino and others while playing in the NBA.
Mississippi State fans can get their first look at the 2021-22 squad on Monday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. when State hosts Mississippi College in their lone preseason exhibition. The season will officially tip-off on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. inside the Humphrey Coliseum against Alabama State.
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