Hawks hire 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce as next head coach
Atlanta Hawks head of basketball of operations and general manager Travis Schlenk tapped into his Warriors ties to land the franchise’s next head coach. The organization announced its agreement to make 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce its 13th full-time head coach in team history.
“As we set out to find a new head coach for our team, it was critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program,” Schlenk in a statement. “Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future.”
Schlenk and Pierce previously worked together when Pierce served as an assistant on Mark Jackson’s Golden State Warriors staff.
The 42-year-old has also worked for the Cavaliers, Grizzlies and, most recently, the resurgent 76ers.
“This is a day I’ve been working towards for a long time and it’s an honor to be the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” Pierce said in a statement. “I have great respect for Travis and strong belief in his plan to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta. After spending time with ownership, it’s clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization.
“This opportunity is a perfect fit for me, and I’m eager to get started.”
Pierce steps in after the Hawks agreed to mutually part ways with Mike Budenholzer, who had two years remaining on his contract. Budenholzer compiled a 213-197 record in Atlanta, including four playoff appearances but following a 24-58 season — the first of a multi-year rebuild around young assets — the team opened its first job search since 2013.
Last season ended the franchise’s 10-year run of playoff appearances with three different head coaches, though the Hawks never advanced to the NBA Finals during that run. Inheriting a young roster built around Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, John Collins, Taurean Prince and a bevy of draft picks and young development pieces, Pierce’s background in player development was a necessary criteria in the coaching search.
“We are excited to start a new chapter of Hawks basketball with Lloyd as head coach of our team,” Hawks owner Tony Ressler said in a statement. “Each part of our organization, from our ownership group to basketball to business operations, is aligned, and we are all committed to building a first-class organization that is working to bring a championship to Atlanta.”
The Hawks will formally introduce Pierce at a news conference on Monday morning at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex. FOX Sports Southeast will carry live coverage of the event and it will be streaming on FOX Sports GO.