The Atlanta Hawks announced on Thursday the hiring of Nate McMillan as the franchise’s 14thfull-time head coach. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“The incredible job Nate did after taking over this season made this an easy decision,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk. “We were able to see how gifted a tactician, motivator and leader he is first-hand and the high level of respect and trust he earned from our players made securing him as our head coach our top priority.”
“I would like to thank Tony, Jami and Travis for putting their faith in me and giving me the opportunity to serve as head coach. I am truly blessed to be able to lead this special group into the future,” McMillan said. “I believe what we accomplished this season is just the beginning of what we can achieve if we stay connected and committed to each other.”
Named Atlanta’s interim head coach on March 1, 2021, McMillan, 56, led the Hawks to a 27-11 (.711) record over the remainder of the regular season, winning his first eight contests. Including postseason games, the Hawks recorded a 37-19 mark (.661) under McMillan’s guidance.
After leading the club to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, McMillan and the Hawks topped the fourth-seeded New York Knicks in the First Round, 4-1, and took out the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Semifinals, 4-3. The Hawks reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in Atlanta history, before falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
McMillan became the third coach in the last 40 years to lead his team to the Conference Finals after taking over in-season (Pat Riley twice, ’82 Lakers and ’06 Heat; Tyronn Lue, ’16 Cavaliers).