Pacers hire Nate Bjorkgren to be head coach
By: Mike Stiles - Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Nate Bjorkgren (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Pacers have agreed to a multiyear deal to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their head coach, according to sources. The Pacers officially named Bjorkgren as their new head coach Tuesday but did not disclose terms of his deal. Bjorkgren, a disciple of reigning NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse, sold the Pacers on his history of innovation, adaptability and winning in his time as an NBA assistant and G League head coach, according to sources. In a statement, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard says they are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach, Pritchard says this was an extensive and thorough search, and at the end, felt strongly Nate is the right coach for the team at the right time and will help the Pacers move forward. Bjorkgren worked with Nurse in two stops in the G League, winning a title with him in 2011 in Iowa. Bjorkgren reached the G League Finals as head coach of Santa Cruz in 2013 before arriving in the NBA in 2015 as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns. Bjorkgren, 45, reunited with Nurse in Toronto in July 2018 and was a part of his staff in the Raptors' championship season. In his own statement, Bjorkgren says he is honored to take on the role of head coach of the Indiana Pacers. He says this is something he has prepared for during his career. Bjorkgren thanked the Indiana Pacers for the opportunity and also thanked Nick Nurse for giving him his first professional coaching job 14 years ago. The Pacers are replacing Nate McMillan, who was dismissed after four consecutive trips to the playoffs. McMillan had a 183-136 record in Indiana, including 3-16 in the postseason. The Pacers have made five consecutive postseason appearances but have been swept in the first round each of the past two years.