Suns hire Igor Kokoskov as new head coach

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Slovenia's coach Igor Kokoskov claps his hands during the Eurobasket European Basketball Championship final match against Serbia in Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 17. 2017. (Source: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) Slovenia's coach Igor Kokoskov claps his hands during the Eurobasket European Basketball Championship final match against Serbia in Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 17. 2017. (Source: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Igor Kokoskov, fourth from right, on the bench with former Phoenix Suns Alvin Gentry, second from the right, with assistant coaches Dan Marjerle, right, and Bill Cartwright, third from the right. (Source: AP Photo/Paul Connors) Igor Kokoskov, fourth from right, on the bench with former Phoenix Suns Alvin Gentry, second from the right, with assistant coaches Dan Marjerle, right, and Bill Cartwright, third from the right. (Source: AP Photo/Paul Connors)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Phoenix Suns have hired an old assistant who has made a name for himself overseas as their next head coach.

The organization announced on Wednesday Igor Kokoskov will be the head coach, making him the first head coach born and raised outside North American in NBA history.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Phoenix Suns]

Kokoskov agreed to terms with the Suns after the team conducted a long series of initial interviews followed by second interviews with what general manager Ryan McDonough termed "a handful" of finalists.

The 46-year-old was an assistant coach with the Suns from 2008-2013. The team went to the Western Conference Finals during the 2009-2010 season, the last time the Suns were in the playoffs.

[RELATED: AP source: Triano not among finalists for Suns job]

Kokoskov just finished his third season as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz.

Overseas, he was the head coach of the Slovenian national team from 2016-2017 and guided the team to a gold-medal finish and a perfect 9-0 record at FIBA EuroBasket 2017. 

Kokoskov will be entrusted to speed up #TheTimeline and get the Suns back to its winning ways. He'll inherit a young core that includes big-time scorer Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. Booker has previously said he's "done with not making the playoffs," after the team finished a 21-61 record last year, the worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.

[RELATED: Suns pledge upgrade in talent, experience after awful season]

The Suns also have at least a Top-4 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Draft Lottery is on May 15 and the team has the highest chance to get the No.1 pick. 

His hire will fuel speculation the Suns are strongly looking at picking Luka Doncic should he be available in the draft. He was on the Slovenian team that won the gold medal, along with former Suns guard Goran Dragic.

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