A little more than a week after not retaining Frank Vogel, Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers have officially announced the hiring of Nate McMillan as their new head coach. McMillan served as the associate head coach under Vogel for the past three seasons.
It was reported over the weekend that McMillan would become the new head man in Indiana, but it didn't become official until earlier today. The terms of the contract are yet to be released.
McMillan was clearly excited about the promotion during his press conference. From NBA.com:
“I want to thank Larry, Herb Simon and the Pacers for this opportunity, which is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “I've been around this franchise three years and understand what the expectations are and look forward to working hard to try to meet them. We have a good team and good base to build from. I'm very anxious to get started.”
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) May 16, 2016
Bird discussed the hiring during the press conference as well.
“I truly believe Nate is the right coach for us at this time,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When I heard he was interested, I got in touch with him, met with him and in our conversation I came away with all the confidence in the world in Nate to lead our franchise to where we want to go. His experience as a player, head coach and assistant coach in the NBA are valuable assets for us.”
All of McMillan's head coaching experience in the NBA came in the Pacific Northwest. After being named as the interim coach for the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000, McMillan remained as the head coach until 2005. From that year through 2012, McMillan served as HC for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Over that time span, McMillan compiled a record of 478-452. His teams have won 50 or more games three times: 52 in 2004-15 with Seattle, 54 with Portland in 2008-09, and 50 more the following year with the Blazers.
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