PHOENIX (AP) _ Danny Ainge, a star at Brigham Young during his college career, named former BYU coach Roger Reid as one of his assistants Thursday.

The hiring fills a vacancy created when Donn Nelson resigned on Jan. 2 to became scouting director of the Dallas Mavericks. He was Ainge's top assistant, and Ainge said then he would look for an experienced replacement _ but not necessarily someone with NBA experience.

Reid, fired in December 1996 after seven years as the Cougars' head coach, fits the bill. He was an assistant at BYU in 1981, when Ainge averaged 24.4 points a game and won the John Wooden Award as the nation's top college player.

``Roger brings in years of coaching experience, and I'm excited about working with him again,'' Ainge said in a statement. ``As one of the assistant coaches when I was an undergraduate, he was one of my greatest motivators.''

Reid reportedly was an unsuccessful candidate to replace Steve Fisher at Michigan, where his son Robbie is starting.

He will join former NBA players Frank Johnson and Scott Skiles on Ainge's staff before a home game Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Suns also play at home Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs, but Reid will not be on the bench.

Reid had six 20-win seasons at BYU, winning three Western Athletic Conference titles and two WAC tournaments and earning five NCAA tournament berths. But his last team started the 1996-97 campaign 1-6, leading to his dismissal from the only team on his college coaching resume.