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Northern Arizona Suns name Tyrone Ellis head coach

The Northern Arizona Suns have found their man. The team announced Tuesday Tyrone Ellis will be their first head coach.

“We are thrilled to have Ty return with us in his new role as head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns,” said Phoenix Suns Director of Player Personnel and Northern Arizona Suns General Manager Bubba Burrage. “With Tyrone Ellis, the Suns have a highly-qualified coach who also possesses the highest of character and reputation.”

Ellis comes to the NAZ Suns after spending the 2015-16 season as the lead assistant with Phoenix’s former NBA D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam. That was his fourth season as an assistant coach in the D-League, previously working as an assistant with the Grand Rapids Drive, Reno Bighorns and Tulsa 66ers.

Ellis joined the coaching ranks following an 11-year career as a player in the D-League and internationally.

The new head coach played in the NBA D-League’s inaugural season; he was drafted by the Huntsville Flight and averaged 5.2 points in 56 games with the team in 2001-02, the first season of the D-League and his first professional season as a player.

Originally from Dallas, Ellis played four seasons at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., from 1997-2001. As a senior in 2000-01, he averaged 22.5 points and earned NAIA First Team All-America honors.

He will be introduced Thursday at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

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