SAN ANTONIO (July 23, 2019) – Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that RC Buford has been named CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, effective Sept. 3. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year has spent a total of 29 years with SS&E.
“RC Buford is one of the most highly-respected leaders in professional sports,” said SS&E Chairman Peter J. Holt. “His vision, innovation and drive have helped shape our values and culture. We are thrilled to have RC leading the organization into the future.”
Buford first joined the Silver and Black as an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff in 1988. He then spent one season with the Los Angeles Clippers and one season at the University of Florida before returning to San Antonio in 1994 as a member of then-Spurs General Manager Gregg Popovich’s staff.Buford was promoted to Spurs Director of Scouting in 1997 and took on the role of vice president and assistant general manager in 1999. Buford was named the Spurs General Manager in 2002 before being promoted to President of Sports Franchises in 2008.
In addition, SS&E announced that long-time top executives Rick Pych and Lawrence Payne have elected to transition into strategic advisory roles with the organization. The two leaders, with a combined 70 years of Spurs service, will remain heavily involved with various key projects and strategic planning at SS&E.
“Rick and LP have been instrumental in the success of the Spurs for many years,” said Holt. “Their passion, influence and leadership have allowed all of us to succeed. It’s impossible to list the numerous contributions they’ve made to the organization. All of us are grateful that we’ll be able to continue to tap into their knowledge and intelligence for years to come.”
Pych, who begins his 27th season with SS&E, has served as the organization’s president and co-CEO since 2016. He started with the organization as the team’s CFO in 1993. In 2000 he was named an executive vice president before assuming the role of president of business operations in 2008.
Payne, currently an executive vice president, is the longest tenured full-time employee in franchise history, starting with the Spurs in 1976 after receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.
At the same time, the organization has announced that Brian Wright has been promoted to Spurs General Manager while Lori Warren and Bobby Perez have been elevated to executive vice president roles. Warren and Perez will lead the business side of SS&E.
Wright, who will manage day-to-day basketball operations duties, spent 10 seasons working with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons before being named the Spurs Assistant General Manager in 2016.
Warren, who has been with the organization for 26 years, most recently served as SS&E’s senior vice president of corporate finance and brand strategy.
Perez, a San Antonio native, joined SS&E in 2013 as the organization’s senior vice president general counsel and corporate relations after spending 20 years at Shelton & Valadez P.C.
SS&E has grown to include 400-plus full-time employees and over 1,000 part-time staff. In addition to capturing five NBA Championships, the Spurs were named the top franchise in professional sports four times in ESPN’s annual fan survey. The SS&E family also includes the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Austin Spurs (NBA G League), San Antonio FC (USL) and Silver & Black Give Back (501(c)(3)), as well as the AT&T Center, Toyota Field and the STAR Soccer Complex.
Ime Udoka Lands Head Coach Position
According to ESPN, the Associated Press, and other sources, retired NBA player and former assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Ime Udoka is set to become the Boston Celtics new head coach and the first Nigerian-American head coach in the the NBA. During his time in the NBA Udoka played seven seasons with five different teams before retiring in 2012. Shortly after retirement he joined Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs where he served as an assistant coach for seven seasons, including the 2013-14 season when they won the NBA title. In 2019, Udoka was the assist coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and last season with the Brooklyn Nets. This upcoming season will be Udoka’s first shot as head coach in the NBA.
And Another One….
Simone Biles, aka “the GOAT,” set another record Saturday, May 22, 2021 becoming the first women ever to land the extremely difficult Yurchenko double pike vault move during competition at the GK US Classic in Indianapolis. The move is a roundoff onto a springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing. Historically this move has only been completed by just a few male gymnasts.
Biles, 24, successfully defended her GK US Classic all-around title. This was her first competition since October 2019.
Still elated from winning the 2021 Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship in front of her hometown crowd, San Antonio native, Wagner High School alumna, and Stanford University standout Kiana Williams is moving on up. Just recently Williams received a key to the city and now she is headed to the defending champion WNBA Seattle Storm. Williams was a drafted 18th overall in the second round of the 2021 WNBA Draft. Congratulations Kiana Williams!
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