Hawks Hire Spurs Assistant Mike Budenholzer as Head Coach
NBA Playoffs 2013
The Atlanta Hawks have hired longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer as their next head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract.
The 43-year-old Budenholzer has been an assistant with the Spurs for the past 17 years and been with the organization under coach Gregg Popovich for 19 years overall.
Budenholzer has a long-term relationship with Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, who played and worked as an executive with the Spurs.
"He has incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful," Ferry said. "His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team."
Budenholzer will replace current head coach Larry Drew, whose contract will end June 30 after three seasons at the helm. Drew is reportedly having a second interview with the Milwaukee Bucks for their head-coaching job this week.
The Spurs gave their permission to the Hawks to interview Budenholzer during the playoffs. The team then gave approval to negotiate a contract with him after they advanced to the NBA Finals with a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Ferry said Budenholzer will remain on San Antonio's coaching staff until the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
The Hawks will have just three players under contract next season and they could use their salary cap excess of $40 million to tap free agents such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. The Hawks are also expected to re-sign Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.
"Building a roster that has terrific potential because of the existing core and the ensuing flexibility presents a rare and uniquely positive opportunity," Budenholzer said in a statement.
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