The Iowa Wolves finally got their man. The team formally announced Wednesday morning that Scott Roth will serve as the team’s new head coach, three months to the day after rebranding from the Iowa Energy to their newly minted moniker. Neato! It’s about time the Wolves G-League team had a commander in chief. But, uh, who…exactly is Scott Roth?
Roth played three seasons in the NBA from 1987-1990, including one year with the Bill Musselman lead Minnesota Timberwolves, in which he averaged 6.8 ppg and started in three games (it should be noted that Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach with that Wolves squad). He also spent single seasons with the Spurs and Jazz.
Roth would go on to play seven more years of professional ball in Europe after his time in the NBA as a player was complete before hanging up the Converse to pursue coaching. Roth began at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as an assistant coach under Bo Ryan and would later spend time on the Lakers, Bucks, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Warriors, Raptors, and Pistons’ staffs. The Cleveland native also has experience at the Olympic level, leading the Dominican Republic squad in 2007 and serving as an assistant on the Turkish team in 2001. Roth’s lone season coaching in the G-League (then D-League) was as head coach of the Bakersfield Jam in 2008. Roth most recently worked as a scout for Thibodeau and the Wolves last season.
So, was hiring Scott Roth to be the Iowa Wolves head coach a good hire? The best answer right now is that only time will tell. The “goodness” of a head coaching hire in the G-Leauge is less about wins and losses and playoff success and more about player development. Roth is familiar with Thibodeau’s system, having worked under him last season, and was obviously hired for good reason, even if they aren’t readily known at this point. Thibodeau reportedly had a three-hour interview with Roth prior to his hiring and no doubt both coaches laid out their vision for how the Iowa Wolves should be run and players developed. Whatever Roth said or displayed obviously impressed Thibodeau enough to hand him over the keys.
In anything, the hiring was good for one reason: Roth’s mullet game was on. point. back in the day.
LOOK AT THAT DO! That mullet puts Thibs’ to shame. I can’t tell if Scottie is making that face because Roth’s silky, smooth* post moves were just too overpowering or because that mullet was disgusting, but either way, this basketball card proves to me that Roth was the right guy for the job.
(*I assume Roth had silky, smooth post moves. Basketaball-Reference lists him as a SF and he was in and out of the league before I was even remotely close to being born, so I never actually got to witness the man play.)
The Iowa Wolves open up their inaugural season on Saturday, November 4th against the Lakeland Magic.