Pacers name Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as head coach

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Indiana Pacers were mentioned as a landing spot for Mike D’Antoni and even Chauncey Billups. However, the Pacers elected to not hire either one of those men.

The Pacers have hired Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren. He replaces Nate McMillan following a sweep in the playoffs by the Miami HEAT.

Basketball Coach Nate Bjorkgren coaching during a game
Nate Bjorkgren coaching during a game (Getty Images)

While Bjorkgren has never been a head coach in the NBA, he has served as the head coach of several NBA G League teams. He previously worked together with Raptors head coach Nick Nurse with the Iowa Energy from 2007-2011.

Bjorkgren spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors under Nurse. He also spent one season in 2017-18 in Toronto’s scouting department.

During his first year as an assistant coach with the Raptors, Nurse, Bjorkgren, and the coaching staff guided the North of the Border team to their first NBA Championship. Toronto defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Before joining the Raptors, he served two seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns. Bjorkgren was the head coach of the Dakota Wizards/Santa Cruz Warriors, Energy, and Bakersfield Jam from 2011 through 2015.

Bjorkgren and Nurse guided the Energy to the NBA D-League Championship in 2011.

He also was the head coach at Cactus Shadows High School from 2004 through 2004.

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