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Brian Keefe will remain coach of the Washington Wizards after serving as an interim in that role

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards hired Brian Keefe as their coach on Wednesday, sticking with the man who led the team on an interim basis from late January until the end of the season.

Keefe was in his first season as an assistant coach for the Wizards when he was promoted to interim head coach on Jan. 25, replacing Wes Unseld Jr. Washington was 7-36 at the time of the change and went 8-31 the rest of the way.

“We are excited for Brian to become our next head coach. Brian is a proven motivator and connector of people,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said. “As a leader in the organization, he will continue to positively grow and invest into the development of our players. His wealth of experience will help move our team forward as we build for long-term sustained success.”

Keefe was an assistant for Oklahoma City when the Thunder reached the NBA Finals in 2012. Keefe joined the Wizards after a couple of seasons with Brooklyn.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our players and helping them grow and develop,” Keefe said. “As a team, we are committed to a collaborative approach to build an environment of accountability and hard work that allows us to improve every day.”

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