Boylan to take reins of Bulls for remainder of 2007-08 season
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Jim Boylan was promoted Thursday to interim head coach of the Chicago Bulls, who fired Scott Skiles on Monday after the team's disappointing start.
Boylan was in his fourth season as an assistant under Skiles and has 14 years experience in the NBA but none as a head coach at the pro level.
Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan tells ESPN 1000 Radio in Chicago how he thinks the team can turn around a disappointing season. Listen
"Jim has paid his dues as an assistant coach and has his own ideas on the way he wants us to play," Bulls general manager John Paxson said in a statement.
Boylan said his coaching influences include Al McGuire, Jud Heathcote, Mike Fratello, Brian Hill and even the man he is replacing.
"I've tried to steal from everybody," Boylan said.
He made it clear Thursday he'll be his own man in an attempt to turn around the Bulls, who at 9-17 are one of the league's most disappointing teams. Their surprising struggles come one season after they took the Detroit Pistons to six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"My approach will be different and I will be myself. I talked to the players about that. I hope any preconceived notions about anyone are put on the back burner."
The Bulls' confidence is wavering, their defense has been soft and their shooting -- for a team that depends on perimeter scoring -- has been poor. Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon are all below last season's levels in scoring and the Bulls are shooting only 41 percent as a team.
"We need to get our guys believing in themselves again. That's not always an easy thing to do," Boylan said.
Paxson said the job is Boylan's for the rest of the season and he doesn't expect miracles. He just wants the Bulls to tighten up their rotation and define roles a little more.
"It's a job interview for me and the rest of the league for him," Paxson said. "He has the right attitude and approach."
Assistant coach Pete Myers was in charge of the team during Wednesday night's 94-79 loss at San Antonio that dropped the Bulls' record to 9-17.
The 52-year-old Boylan also has been an assistant in Cleveland under Mike Fratello (1993-97), Vancouver under Brian Hill (1997-2000), Phoenix under Skiles (2000-01) and Atlanta under Terry Stotts (2003-04).
He also coached in the Continental Basketball Association and in college, including stops at Michigan State as an assistant under Jud Heathcote (1986-89) and as head coach at New Hampshire (1989-92).
As a player, Boylan helped lead Marquette to the 1977 NCAA Championship. He was later drafted by the Buffalo Braves in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA draft.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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