The Indiana Pacers have found their new head coach.
The team today announced that Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren has been tabbed as its new lead man, ending a coaching search that lasted nearly two months.
OFFICIAL: We have hired Nate Bjorkgren as our new head coach. Bjorkgren most recently served as an assistant on the Toronto Raptors, who won the NBA Championship during the 2018-19 season. Welcome to Indiana, Coach Bjorkgren!- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 20, 2020
More info >> https://t.co/Ol4LiOzMcM pic.twitter.com/LnNF4wy79P
Bjorkgren, 45, spent the last two seasons as an assistant on Nick Nurse's staff with the Raptors.
In a statement released from the Raptors official account, Nurse said "I'll miss having (Nate) next to me on our bench, and I know the Raptors players and staff will miss working with him every day. With Nate, the Pacers are getting someone who is ready to lead an NBA team, who is always prepared and is super-positive, who knows what it takes to win a championship, at any level, and is willing to put in the work to get there."
Good luck next year, Coach!- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 20, 2020
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Bjorkgren himself also took the time out to share a tweet in appreciation of Nurse and the Raptors organization.
Thanks for the kind words. I loved my time in Toronto and working with Nick and the whole Raptors organization! Best wishes everyone!- Nate Bjorkgren (@natebjorkgren) October 20, 2020
Prior to his time in Toronto, Bjorkgren served as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns from 2015-17. He spent the 2014-15 season as a head coach of the Suns' then-G League affiliate Bakersfield Jam. During his time in Bakersfield and Phoenix, Bjorkgren worked with prolific Pacers wing T.J. Warren, who began his career with the Suns in 2014.
In total, Bjorkgren spent four seasons as a head coach in the NBA G League.
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Bjorkgren assumes the lead of a Pacers team that earned the East's No. 4 seed with a 45-28 record in the shortened 2019-20 NBA season. Despite their regular-season successes, injuries led to Indiana suffering an opening-round sweep at the hands of the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat.
With a solid foundation in place, Bjorkgren will be tasked with bringing postseason success to the Pacers, a franchise that has not won a postseason series since 2014 despite qualifying for the playoffs in each of the last five seasons.
Stick with NBA.com for more information on the developing situation.
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