TJ Ford to Volunteer Coach for D-League’s Austin Toros

After retiring earlier this month, former Spurs guard and University of Texas standout TJ Ford will be announced today as a volunteer coach for the Austin Toros, San Antonio’s D-League affiliate. The Austin American-Statesman has the details: “‘I’ll look at it from another perspective,’ said Ford, 28. ‘I’m really starting at the bottom. I’m not sure where I’m headed. But I’m headed in the right direction.’ The Toros, who play home games at the Cedar Park Center, are the NBA Development League team tied to the Spurs. Ford said he plans to use his time as a Toros coach — a position he compared to ‘an internship’ that could lead to a second profession — to plan the rest of his career. ‘I retired prematurely,’ he said Thursday night. ‘I’ve been around basketball my entire life. I feel I can do something. I feel I can give back to the game.’ Ford played two memorable seasons at Texas, punctuating his last with a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans. The Milwaukee Bucks selected the former Houston Willowridge star with the eighth pick in the 2003 draft. He suffered a serious back injury as a rookie in 2004. He missed the end of that season and all of the next. Ford joined the Spurs in December and appeared in 14 games. Two weeks ago, in what would be his final time in uniform, he fell face-first to the AT&T Center floor after a collision with Baron Davis in the second quarter of a game with the New York Knicks. Ford walked off the court with the help of two men. Ford announced his retirement five days later, on March 12. He said he wanted to quit while he still was fully able to play with his children, who are 6 and 2. ‘The Spurs organization was great to me,’ Ford said. ‘I have a lot of knowledge that I want to share, hopefully to help someone live their dream and make it to the NBA.'”