The Bucks have made their latest hire official, announcing today in a press release that Mike Budenholzer is the club’s new head coach. Reports on Wednesday indicated that Budenholzer and the Bucks had agreed to a four-year contract.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike Budenholzer as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” Bucks GM Jon Horst said in a statement. “Mike has played a key role in building successful teams throughout his career. He’s widely respected and has shown a special ability to teach and develop players. His leadership, basketball intellect, championship-level experience and communication skills make him the right fit to take our team to the next level.”
The Bucks’ co-owners, who were reportedly involved in meetings with Budenholzer and fellow finalist Ettore Messina, also offered a statement on the club’s new head coach.
“After a thorough coaching search, it was clear that Mike was the ideal choice as we enter into a new era of Bucks Basketball,” said Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, and Jamie Dinan. “Mike has demonstrated the ability to lead and communicate, and understands what it takes to build a winning culture. This move puts our organization in a terrific position as we work together toward our collective goal of sustained success and winning championships.”
Budenholzer spent the past five seasons as the head coach of the Hawks before parting ways with the franchise last month. Atlanta launched a rebuilding project this year after four straight playoff appearances and Budenholzer reportedly didn’t want to go through that process. He was 213-197 with the Hawks, including a 24-58 mark this season.
Budenholzer was one of at least eight candidates who interviewed for the Bucks’ head coaching job, along with Messina, Steve Clifford, Monty Williams, David Blatt, Becky Hammon, and Jay Larranaga. Interim head coach Joe Prunty also interviewed for the permanent job, but he’ll be replaced by Budenholzer.
A report on Wednesday indicated that Darvin Ham, an assistant on Budenholzer’s staff in Atlanta, will accompany him to Milwaukee. Budenholzer would like to bring more of his assistants with him to the Bucks, but nothing is official on that front yet, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Budenholzer’s new job is good news for the Hawks, who will recover via setoff some of the $13MM they owed their former head coach over the next two years.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.