As the Memphis Grizzlies start to prepare for the presumed resumption of the NBA season, they’re making an addition to their staff with a sixth assistant coach.
The Grizzlies have hired Blake Ahearn, who leaves his spot as head coach of the Austin Spurs, the G League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs. With the Grizzlies, among other duties, Ahearn will participate in player development efforts, including shooting development.
The idea of hiring an additional assistant was in the works for several months, even before the Grizzlies lost assistant Niele Ivey, who left Memphis to become head coach of the women’s program at her alma mater, Notre Dame. The Grizzlies are still working to fill Ivey’s position, which will likely happen in the offseason.
Ahearn has plenty of ties to the current Grizzlies staff. Perhaps most relevantly, Ahearn played on the Austin Toros during the 2008-09 season, when Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins was an assistant coach. Jenkins would go on to become head coach of the Toros, just as Grizzlies assistant Brad Jones did later. Ahearn joins Grizzlies assistant coach David McClure as former Toros players on the current Grizz staff.
A native of St Louis, Ahearn played collegiately for Missouri State, then spent almost a decade playing professionally in the United States and abroad. Ahearn has been the head coach of the Austin Spurs since 2017, guiding the Spurs to a G League title in 2018.