Bower steps down as Hornets GM

The New Orleans Hornets announced on Wednesday that Jeff Bower will resign as general manager to take an assistant coaching job under Ed DeChellis at Penn State.

"Jeff will definitely be missed in the Hornets organization, but I know he will be just as successful at Penn State as he was with the Hornets," said Hornets executive vice-president of basketball operations Bob Bass. "Jeff has always had a passion for coaching at the college level.

"Penn St. is a great opportunity because they are a member of a major conference and it will be a great challenge for him."

Bower joined the Hornets in 1995 as a scout and was named director of advance scouting prior to the 1997-98 campaign.

Bower also served as an assistant coach during the 1998-99 season before being the team's assistant GM in 2000-01.

In the summer of 2001, Bower was promoted to GM.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for me, but I have always maintained an interest in coaching again at the college level and moving my family closer to home was just a great combination," said Bower. "The Hornets organization and, in particular Bob Bass, have been great to me throughout my entire time in each capacity with the team and I'll always be appreciative of the opportunities that they gave me."

On Sunday, the Hornets fired head coach Paul Silas just two days after the team was eliminated from the playoffs with a Game 6 loss at home to Philadelphia.

For the first time since 2000, the Hornets failed to move past the first round of the playoffs, suffering a disappointing loss to the Sixers on Friday after staving off elimination at Philadelphia in Game 5.

New Orleans finished the season with a 47-35 record, good for third place in the Eastern Conference's Central Division.

The team moved from Charlotte to its new home last off-season.