PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Phoenix Suns announced Tuesday that three Northern Arizona Suns coaches have been called up and will become part of the NBA team’s basketball staff.
NAZ Suns Head Coach Ty Ellis, Associate Head Coach Bret Burchard, and Assistant Coach Brandon Rosenthal have been called up by the Phoenix Suns and begin their new duties effective immediately.
Assistant Coach Tyler Gatlin will lead the NAZ Suns’ training camp, which begins today.
Ellis is now on the Phoenix Suns coaching staff after spending one year as the head coach of the NAZ Suns. The 40-year-old got the Suns off to a record start in their inaugural season, as they won their first eight games at home as part of a 10-1 overall start. This tied the NBA G League record for the best start through the first 11 games of a season (Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2013-14, Iowa Energy in 2009-10 and Columbus Riverdragons in 2004-05).
Ellis’ leadership led to strong development of multiple NAZ Suns, including players who earned NBA playing time last season in Derrick Jones Jr., Johnny O’Bryant and Elijah Millsap. O’Bryant and Millsap marked the first two GATORADE Call-Ups in Northern Arizona Suns history. Jones plays for the Phoenix Suns, while O’Bryant is a member of the Charlotte Hornets.
Ellis departs Northern Arizona after a 22-28 inaugural season. It marked his fifth season as a coach in the G League.
Burchard rejoins the Phoenix Suns after spending six years with the NBA club. The 31-year-old worked 2013-16 as the team’s video coordinator after spending 2010-13 as a Phoenix Suns basketball communications coordinator. He was promoted to associate head coach of the NAZ Suns from assistant coach during the 2017 offseason.
Before joining the Suns organization, Burchard was an assistant coach for two years at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he also went to school and played basketball.
Rosenthal, 29, joins the Phoenix Suns staff after one year as an assistant coach in the NBA G League. He joined Prescott Valley’s club after working 2015-16 with the Houston Rockets as a member of the basketball operations video department. Rosenthal joined the Rockets after spending nearly eight years working at the collegiate level in basketball operations and coaching. He worked two years as the director of basketball operations at Santa Clara University in California, and spent time as a basketball coach at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Rosenthal spent a summer working as an intern in operations at the University of Arizona in 2009.
He earned his Master’s Degree in Arts of Teaching from St. Edward’s University in 2012, after getting his Bachelor’s Degree from St. John Fisher College, located in New York, in 2010.
Gatlin, who will be leading the NAZ Suns training camp this week, is entering his seventh season in the NBA G League. The 30-year-old was an assistant coach for the NAZ Suns in their inaugural season after serving the same role for the Bakersfield Jam in 2015-16. Gatlin also spent four seasons (2011-2015) with the Texas Legends where he held roles as a video coordinator, scout and assistant coach. During his time with the Legends, he was also an assistant coach for the North Dallas Vandals of the American Basketball Association before being promoted to head coach for the 2012-13 season. In 2010, the Dallas, Texas, native served as general manager for the Dallas Impact (ABA).
Season tickets are now on sale for the Northern Arizona Suns’ second year in the NBA G League. Visit nazsuns.com/memberships to view available full or half season membership options at the Prescott Valley Event Center. Season tickets start at just $192 and come with a plethora of benefits, including first right of refusal for playoff tickets and exclusive events with the team.