Tyler Gatlin Promoted to NAZ Suns Associate Head Coach

By Jacob Withee | November 20, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns announced Monday that they have promoted assistant coach Tyler Gatlin to Associate Head Coach.

Gatlin led the NAZ Suns during training camp this season following the departure of Head Coach Ty Ellis, Associate Head Coach Bret Burchard and Assistant Coach Brandon Rosenthal, who all were called up by the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 24.

The Suns also announced Monday that they have added Earl Barron and Nick Friedman as assistant coaches, rounding out their coaching staff.

Gatlin, who spent 2016-17 as a NAZ Suns assistant coach and 2015-16 as a Bakersfield Jam assistant coach, will begin his new role effective immediately.

The 30-year-old worked 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).

He is in the middle of his seventh season in the NBA G League.

Barron joins the NAZ Suns coaching staff after a long playing career in the NBA. This marks Barron’s first coaching stop of his career.

The 36-year-old played eight years in the NBA beginning in 2005 when he signed on with the Miami Heat. He played for the Heat for three seasons before playing overseas in Italy and joining the NBA G League. After stints with the then Los Angeles D-Fenders and then Iowa Energy, Barron made his way back to the NBA. In total, Barron has played for seven different NBA teams (Miami, New York, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Portland, Golden State and Washington). His final year was 2014-15, where he ended his playing career in a Suns uniform.

Going undrafted out of the University of Memphis, Barron finished with career averages of 4.6 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 140 career NBA games (31 starts).

Friedman joins the NAZ coaching staff with already a familiar tie. Head Coach Cody Toppert worked with him at Rio Grande Valley, where Toppert was the assistant coach in 2016-17 and Friedman was the director of player development and head video coordinator.

Toppert and Friedman are also both assistant coaches for the Haitian Senior Men’s National Team.

Friedman began his NBA G League tenure at the beginning of last season after serving as the NBA Pre Draft’s director of player development for two years.

He worked with SportVU with the Miami Heat during 2014-15 before spending 2015-16 as a graduate assistant for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a squad that reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Friedman graduated from Miami in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

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.

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