Larry Drew agrees to become Bucks next head coach

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks finally have found their man.

The team confirmed they have reached an agreement in principle for Larry Drew to become the head coach in Milwaukee.

Drew will sign a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth year to become the 13th head coach in franchise history and the sixth in the past 10 years.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with Larry Drew to become head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said. “After a thorough search and interview process, it is clear to us that Larry’s track record in Atlanta, along with his experience as an assistant coach and player, make him the right choice to lead our club. We look forward to what he will bring to this franchise and we welcome him and his family to Milwaukee.”

The 55-year-old was 128-102 over the past three seasons as head coach of the Hawks, leading Atlanta to three postseason appearances and a trip to the conference semifinals in 2011.

A first round pick of the Detroit Pistons out of the University of Missouri in 1980, Drew averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game in 714 career games over his 10-year career. After one season with the Pistons, Drew played with the Kings, Clippers and Lakers before playing the final year of his career in Italy.

Drew started his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1992. He joined Alvin Gentry’s staff with the Pistons for the 1999-2000 season before serving under Doug Collins in Washington from 2000-03. Drew joined Byron Scott’s staff in New Jersey for the 2003-04 season prior to heading to Atlanta as an assistant coach in 2004.

When the Hawks parted ways with Mike Woodson following the 2010 season, Drew was promoted to head coach. Drew was still under contract with the Hawks when he first interviewed with the Bucks, but Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was also interviewing for his replacement.

The Hawks recently hired Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer as their next head coach, leaving Drew free to come to Milwaukee.

Milwaukee took its time in their search to replace Jim Boylan, who wasn’t offered a contract for next season after taking over for Scott Skiles in January.

The Bucks interviewed six candidates for the job before settling on three finalists. When Steve Clifford was hired in Charlotte, Drew and Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson were the only candidates to receive second interviews.

Drew and his wife Sharon have three children, Larry, Landon and Lindsey.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the agreement.

Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.