There are just some coaches in sports that you find yourself cheering for even though they may not even be the head coach of your favorite team.

One of those coaches for me is Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders.

Saunders started as a graduate manager at the University of Minnesota, took his talents to the bench under his father with the Wizards and the Wolves and was promoted last season to head coach of Minnesota.

Some of that admiration comes from the fact of how much I respected his late father Flip and how much of Flip I see in Ryan every time I watch him, coach.

They have similar mannerisms, they have similar tones at times with their teams and they both have been the epitome of class.

There is also a personal connection with our paths crossing over the years from his Dad's time as Skyforce coach in Sioux Falls to taking some classes together at the University of Minnesota to covering the Wolves for my current job.

Furthermore, you can clearly see he is a players coach but also garners the respect of his team even with the fact that he is similar in age.

This season clearly hasn't gone how Minnesota would want it to on the court after their above-average start, but that has been because of injuries and not Saunders.

Additionally, with the bottom spots in the Western Conference standings having teams with sub .500 records, there is a very good likelihood that Saunders can still navigate the Wolves into playoff contention as the season progresses.

My hope is that will happen and Ryan Saunders's first full year as a head coach will have a very positive conclusion for a guy that I find myself cheering for on a nightly basis.


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