The Atlanta Hawks have named San Antonio Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer the team’s new head coach, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.
“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 in a press release. “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 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.
“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.”
During his time with the Spurs, he was a part of one of the most successful eras in NBA history. As an assistant coach since the 1996-97 season, he has helped lead San Antonio to a league-best 908-438 (.675) regular season record and four NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007). He also served as an advance scout for Team USA for the 2004 Olympics.
“I couldn’t be happier for Mike for many reasons. As anyone who’s been part of this program knows, he has been more of a co-head coach than an assistant for a long time. His knowledge of the game as well as his ability to teach and develop relationships with players are all special,” said Popovich. “I will miss him a great deal both professionally and personally and am confident that he and Danny will make a great team as the future unfolds.”
A native of Holbrook, AZ, Budenholzer and his wife Mary Bet have four children: Will, Libby, Hanna and John. He will continue serving as the Spurs top assistant until the conclusion of the 2013 NBA Finals.