New England native Thibodeau named Celtics assistant

Updated: August 30, 2007, 7:47 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics added veteran NBA coach Tom Thibodeau, known as a defensive specialist, to their coaching staff Thursday.

In his 17 seasons as an assistant, the last four in Houston, Thibodeau has helped his teams finish in the NBA's top 10 in team defense 14 times. He helped the Rockets rank in the top five in the NBA in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense in all four years he was with the team.

He also has coached with the Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers.

His hiring in Boston is a homecoming for the New Britain, Conn., native, who played four years at Salem (Mass.) State, then coached at his alma mater for four years, including one as head coach, before joining Harvard's staff in 1985.

He got his first NBA job in 1989 with the expansion Timberwolves.

"I've admired Tom as a coach for a long time. It's good to have him on my side," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

The team did not announce terms of the deal.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press