Kevin McHale will not return to coach the Wolves

Kevin McHale's 15-year tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves has come to an end.

From the AP:

A person with knowledge of the decision, speaking on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that McHale and new boss David Kahn had decided that McHale's time with the Timberwolves was up.

That confirms a Twitter message posted by the Timberwolves' Kevin Love early Wednesday that read, "Today is a sad day ... Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach this season."

During the vast majority of his decade-and-a-half stint with the Wolves, McHale acted as General Manager, where his decisions were often called into question. At least in retrospect. Draft day blunders alone provided critics with ample fodder.

He seemed much more in his element in the coaching role, which he took on at the mid-point of last season. Hands-on and detail-oriented, McHale was popular amongst his players ("If there's some kind of way that he leaves the Timberwolves," Wolves centerpiece Al Jefferson told the AP in April, "that's when I'll be very, very upset.") The Hall of Famer known for his arsenal of post moves mentored promising young players both during and after practice, helping to hone and refine their games; Kevin Garnett and Jefferson, in particular, benefited noticeably from his input.

After settling in as head coach mid-season, McHale led an undertalented yet overachieving Wolves squad to a 10-4 January record. But the squad returned to sub-mediocrity after Big Al went down with a season-ending knee injury in early February.

Despite his love of the game, McHale never hid the fact that he loathed the coaching lifestyle: the travel, the relentless scrutiny, having to deal with the media, etc. That in mind, our guess is that his players are more disappointed at the news than he is.