Oakland, CA – The Golden State Warriors named Rick Welts as the team's new president and chief operating officer.
Welts, who revealed in a New York Times story earlier this year that he was gay, had been president of the Phoenix Suns for nine years before resigning earlier this month. He had also been Suns' chief executive officer for the final two years of his tenure.
The Warriors' new owners seemed quite pleased with the hire.
"Peter Guber and I have made it quite clear since we assumed control of this team in November that we're looking to build a world class organization from top to bottom," said Warriors co-managing partner Joe Lacob. "We feel that we've taken a quantum leap in that direction today with the addition of Rick Welts as our president and COO. Rick is simply one of the most highly-regarded executives in the NBA and his accomplishments at both the team and league levels are extremely impressive."
Welts, 58, has been affiliated with the NBA in some capacity for 36 years. He was first a ball boy for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1969 and was a high- ranking official in the league office for 17 years prior to his stint with Phoenix.
"It's hard to express how excited I am to embrace this opportunity and be part of a collective group in building the Warriors into a championship caliber organization," said Welts. "I've been most impressed with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber's vision and desire to do something great. Not good, but great."