MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball operations is returning to the bench.

Flip Saunders is taking on the role of head coach two people with knowledge of the situation have told The Associated Press. The move came after the hunt for a head coach was hampered by the uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of star forward Kevin Love.

Saunders previously coached the Timberwolves from 1995-2005. He won 411 games in 10½ seasons in Minnesota and guided the Wolves to the only eight playoff appearances in franchise history, including the Western Conference finals in 2004. He has a career record of 638-526 in 16 seasons as an NBA head coach.