US basketball

Pacers appoint Bjorkgren as head coach

Agence France-Presse
Pacers appoint Bjorkgren as head coach
The Indiana Pacers tap Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren after an ‘extensive and thorough’ search

The Indiana Pacers named Nate Bjorkgren as the team’s new head coach on Tuesday, October 20, in the wake of the surprise sacking of Nate McMillan in August.

A Pacers statement said Toronto Raptors assistant coach Bjorkgren had been hired after an “extensive and thorough” search.

“We felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement.

“He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous.

“We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward.”

Terms of Bjorkgren’s contract were not released.

The 45-year-old was part of the Raptors set up which won the NBA Finals in 2019 and reached this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals during the playoffs. 

The Pacers appointment marks Bjorkgren’s first head-coaching job in the NBA.

“I am honored to take on the role as head coach of the Indiana Pacers,” said Bjorkgren. 

“This is something I have prepared for during my career. I’m looking forward to working with this great team to achieve our goal as NBA champions.”

The Pacers had been hunting for a head coach after McMillan was jettisoned two months ago.

McMillan’s dismissal came just two weeks after the team had given him a one-year contract extension.

Indiana went 45-28 this season and finished 4th in the Eastern Conference but exited in the first round of the playoffs after a clean sweep by Miami. –

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