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Philip Daniel "Flip" Saunders died Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 24, 2015

We were saddened to hear of Flip Saunders passing this morning, Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Our most heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his team and to Glen Taylor and the whole Timberwolves organization.

I first saw Flip Saunders when he was a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He remains the best point guard in Gopher history. I watched many of his games in the 70s. From the very beginning, from when he first came to Minnesota from Ohio, he became a Minnesota man. Throughout his career he always maintained his home in Minnesota.

His coaching career started at Golden Valley Lutheran College, where he never lost a home game. He went on to become the winningest coach in Timberwolves history.

Unlike with many, it is not cliché to talk about the positive manner he chose to follow on his journey in the various passages of his professional and personal lives, which is why those he met were so deeply touched in a very positive manner, and why so many had such high respect for him. I met him a couple of times in different settings, and have written positively of him in this column before. He was one of those whose career I enjoyed following. Along with many others, I always found him to be a very decent and committed person. Those I knew who also knew Flip always spoke highly of him.

Wherever he went to coach and live, he was a winner, on and off the court. Part of his legacy is how he lead and inspired with the flare and charisma that he brought to the game as a terrific coach, known for having one of the best offensive minds ever. He always had his thick playbook. He always had a plan. My continued hope and prayer is that state and local leaders in government and community work would also develop a playbook with workable plans.

He may have sensed his end, given the caliber of personnel and assistants he brought in as he wore his three hats: President of Basketball Operations, Head Coach, and part owner.

Flip Saunders’ legacy will continue to lead and inspire. May they remember him by naming, at Target Center, "The Flip Saunders Court."

Known as a terrific person always willing to help others in need of support, he leaves many positive memories that will comfort his family as well as the Timberwolves, as both face a future without his physical presence. He was a great family man. I wish his family all the support and love needed, as it is harder on them than his players, coaches and friends.
Thank you Flip for all that you have done. Our prayers are for you and your family.

Written Sunday, October 25, 2015
Posted Monday, October 26, 2015, 9:12 p.m

See also: November, 05, 2015 #45: IN MEMORIUM: Philip “Flip” Saunders, 1955-2015

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

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