Don Zierden

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Don Zierden
Don Zierdan (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Born Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nationality American
Career information
High school DeLaSalle (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
College Mount Senario (1977–1981)
Position Assistant coach
Coaching career 1984–present
Career history
As coach:
1984–1986 DeLaSalle HS
1986–1988 Tulsa (assistant)
1990–1994 La Crosse Catbirds (CBA) (assistant coach)
1994–1995 Pittsburgh Piranhas (CBA) (assistant coach)
1996–1998 La Crosse Bobcats (CBA)
2000–2005 Minnesota Timberwolves (assistant)
2005–2007 Detroit Pistons (assistant)
2006–2009 Minnesota Lynx (WNBA)
20092016 Washington Wizards (assistant)

Donald Casper "Don" Zierden, Jr. is an assistant basketball coach for the Washington Wizards. From 2007 to 2009, Zierden served as the head coach of the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA.

Early life and education[edit]

Zierden, a Minneapolis native, graduated from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis and later from Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in 1981.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

He returned to DeLaSalle High in 1984 to become head varsity basketball coach and led DeLaSalle to the Minnesota Class A title in his first season.[2] In two seasons at DeLaSalle, Zierden had a 61–14 record as head coach.[1]

In 1986, Zierden moved to the collegiate ranks to be an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa under J. D. Barnett. After two seasons at Tulsa, Zierden left coaching to work at a steel company.[1] Zierden returned to coaching in 1990, as he became an assistant coach for the La Crosse Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association under Flip Saunders. In four seasons, the duo had a 139–85 record, including the 1992 CBA championship.[3] In the 1994–95 season, Zierden became an assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Piranhas of the CBA, again, alongside Flip Saunders. They lead the team to a 27–29 record and CBA Finals appearance.[3]

Zierden got his first NBA job in 1999 as video coordinator for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he would be promoted to assistant coach the following year and remain for five seasons on the staffs of Flip Saunders (replaced by interim coach Kevin McHale in early 2005). From 2005 to 2007, Zierden was an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons.[4]

Zierden became the Minnesota Lynx's fifth head coach on December 13, 2006, replacing Carolyn Jenkins, who remained on the staff as an assistant.[5]

In 2007, Zierden's Lynx began the season 0–7, lost 10 straight in July and failed to get into the playoff race. They finished tied with a league worst 10–24 record.

On June 2, 2009, Zierden resigned as head coach of the Lynx, four days before the season began.

He accepted an assistant coaching job under Flip Saunders in Washington in 2009.


  • “With our team, I thought we would shoot the basketball a little better. I thought we would defend a little better at times. Those have been the biggest surprises and disappointments." — Zierden on the 2007 Lynx [1]
  • “She has been utterly fantastic. She has taken fewer shots this year and her numbers are up across the board. We told her coming in that we needed her to take fewer shots because we needed more balance to be a successful team, and she's been great about that. Any success this team is going to have down the road, she is going to be a big part of it." — Zierden on Seimone Augustus [2]
  • “I miss the charter flights, the huge per diem and the huge salary. That's what I miss (laughs). I don't miss the 82-game schedule, where you are flying all over the place and really missing out on your family." — Zierden on the NBA vs. WNBA [3]


  1. ^ a b c MacLeod, Ken (June 13, 1990). "Revolving door / TU turnover continues". Tulsa World. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Don Zierden" (PDF). 2002-03 Minnesota Timberwolves Media Guide. NBA. p. 52. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Don Zierden". NBA. 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Don Zierden". Minnesota Lynx. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]