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Wittman to return as Wizards' coach

Randy Wittman will return as head coach of the Washington Wizards next season to provide some stability for the once-proud franchise, the team said Monday.

Wittman was named interim coach in January when Flip Saunders was fired after the team's 2-15 start. Under Wittman the Wizards were 18-31, winning eight of their final 10 games.

"We are excited to bring Randy back as head coach and give him the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that the team showed under his leadership last season," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.

"We were very pleased with the development of our young players and the commitment to winning he instilled despite taking over the team under difficult circumstances."

Until taking over for Saunders, Wittman, a former head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers, had been a Wizards assistant since the 2009-10 season.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

The Wizards have advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs just once in the last 30 years.

(Reporting By Steve Ginsburg; editing by Julian Linden)