The Indiana Pacers named Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach on Tuesday.
Bjorkgren spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors.
Bjorkgren, 45, coached in the G League before joining the Phoenix Suns in 2015-16, where he served as an assistant coach and player development coordinator.
“We are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach,” said Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers president of basketball operations.
“This was an extensive and thorough search, and when we reached the conclusion, we felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time. He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous. We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward.”
Bjorkgren said in a statement that he is looking forward to his new opportunity with the Pacers.
“I am honored to take on the role as head coach of the Indiana Pacers,” Bjorkgren said. “This is something I have prepared for during my career. I want to thank Kevin, Chad (Buchanan, general manager), Kelly (Krauskopf, assistant general manager), Larry Bird, Donnie Walsh and Herb and Steve Simon for this opportunity. I also want to thank Nick Nurse for giving me my first professional coaching job 14 years ago.
“I’m looking forward to working with this great team to achieve our goal as NBA champions.”
Bjorkgren will take over the position formally held by Nate McMillan, who was fired in August after four seasons with Indiana.
The Pacers parted ways with McMillan after the team was swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.
McMillan amassed a 183-136 record but was just 3-16 in the playoffs with the Pacers after leading them to the playoffs all four seasons.
–Field Level Media