In their 55-year history, the Milwaukee Bucks have had 16 head coaches, starting with Larry Costello through the recent firing of Mike Budenholzer. Their longevity has ranged from Don Nelson’s franchise-best 884 games at the helm to Joe Prunty’s 37 games at the end of the 2018 campaign.
Who will be the next Bucks’ head coach? You might be able to get a glimpse of who could be hired based on the previous hirings of the 16 coaches… or the team may go completely off-script for their next coach.
Here are seven stats you may not know about the previous hirings.
7 Stats you may not know about the Bucks’ previous head coaching hires
One: Of the 16 previous Bucks’ coaches, six of them (Larry Costello, Don Nelson, Frank Hamblen, Terry Porter, Larry Krystowiak, and Joe Prunty) had their first head coaching gig with the Bucks. Exactly half of the 16 Bucks’ coaches were on their second NBA head coaching job with Milwaukee. When Scott Skiles took the Bucks job in 2009, it was his third head coaching job. When George Karl took the Bucks’ job in 1999, he had already been the head coach of three NBA teams (Cleveland, Golden State, and Seattle).
Two: Of the Bucks’ coaches who had previous head coaching experience, the Bucks have hired three coaches (Terry Stotts, Larry Drew, and Mike Budenholzer) who had previously been the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. The only other NBA team the Bucks’ have “raided” for their head coaching position was the Chicago Bulls. Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan each had head coaching stints with the Bulls before becoming Milwaukee’s head coach.
Three: Seven of the 16 Bucks head coaches were assistants with the Bucks. The seven: Don Nelson, Del Harris, Frank Hamblen, Mike Dunleavy, Terry Stotts, Jim Boylen, and Joe Prunty.
Four: Of the 16 Bucks’ head coaches, 13 were NBA assistants before taking the job with the Bucks. The three that were not assistants before taking the Bucks’ head coaching job? Larry Costello, Larry Krystowiak, and Jason Kidd.
Five: Of those 13 Bucks’ coaches who were assistants before taking the Bucks job, eight of them were assistants for five seasons or more.
Six: The four names that have been mentioned most frequently as the potential next Bucks coach are Nick Nurse, who might be the most popular pick, Ty Lue, Frank Vogel, and current Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Nurse was the head coach of Toronto and served as an assistant for five years… Lue has been a head coach for a pair of NBA teams Cleveland and the L.A. Clippers) and was an assistant coach for four seasons… Vogel was the head coach for three teams (Indiana, Orlando, and the L.A. Lakers) and served eight seasons as an assistant… Lee has never been a head coach and has been an assistant for nine seasons.
Seven: Four of the last five head coaches hired by the Bucks had 17 or more years of experience as an assistant coach.
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