Toppert named next head coach of NAZ Suns

As assistant coach, Toppert helped lead Vipers to 2016-17 G League Finals

Former Rio Grande Valley assistant coach Cody Toppert yells out directions to his players during a game last season. Toppert was named the next head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Prescott Valley. (NAZ Suns/Courtesy)

Former Rio Grande Valley assistant coach Cody Toppert yells out directions to his players during a game last season. Toppert was named the next head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Prescott Valley. (NAZ Suns/Courtesy)

After spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Cody Toppert was named the next head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns on Thursday afternoon.

Suns general manager Louis Lehman confirmed the hire through a text message Thursday, but said the club can’t comment until Toppert signs his contract, which is expected to happen at some point Friday.

Toppert, who was hired by current Vipers head coach Matt Brase in October 2015, helped lead Rio Grande Valley to an NBA Gatorade League Finals appearance after they finished 32-18 last season.

The Vipers lost to Raptors 905 in the G League championship (2-1) back in April.

“We’re all happy for Cody, he did a great job these last two years, and now he gets his first head coaching job in the G League,” Brase told Clay Williams of 956sports.com on Thursday morning. “[It’s] great for Cody, he’ll be missed here. We wish him the best in Northern Arizona, except when he plays the Vipers.”

Toppert was unavailable for comment.

Beginning his professional playing career with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, Toppert helped lead the team to a 2005-06 G League championship, then played professionally overseas in New Zealand until 2012.

Toppert played four seasons (2001-2005) at Cornell, where he scored 1,232 points, good enough for eighth all-time in school history. He is the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (237) and games played (108).

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.