The once heir to Gregg Popovich's throne in San Antonio with the Spurs has agreed to a deal that will make him the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.
ATLANTA –The Atlanta Hawks have named Mike Budenholzer (BEW-den-holzer) the team’s new head coach, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Budenholzer becomes the 12th full-time head coach in Hawks history. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
“We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an 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, 43, spent the past 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including the final 17 seasons as an assistant coach. For the last six seasons, he has served as the team’s no. 1 assistant to current San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in major professional sports and third-winningest coach (by percentage – .681) in NBA history behind only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham.
“I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization for the last 19 years. I knew it would have to be a tremendous situation for me to leave and clearly coming to Atlanta as the head coach of the Hawks is perfect for me,” said Budenholzer. “Ownership’s commitment to taking this organization to the next level and creating a unique and special culture, partnering with a general manager like Danny Ferry who I have great respect for, and building a roster that has terrific potential because of the existing core and the ensuing flexibility presents a rare and uniquely positive opportunity.”
Many other teams have had interest in Coach Bud for years but, as an Atlanta native, has apparently found the perfect situation for himself and his family with the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks.
With Budenholzer out of the mix after the playoffs this season, there'll be talk of a new coach after the Gregg Popovich era with the Spurs and that might just be anyone right now. The San Antonio Spurs and Bud are still looking to make their mark with a fifth championship ring after advancing to the NBA Finals, an experience that may pay off for the Atlanta Hawks next season with their new coach.