Former South Dakota Coyote Nate Bjorkgren Hired as Indiana Pacers Head Coach
The Indiana Pacers have hired Nate Bjorkgren as the franchise's 16th head coach.
Bjorkgren has agreed on a multi-year deal with the Pacers to become the team's head coach according to ESPN. His hiring has also been confirmed by an official press release from the Pacers organization. Bjorkgren jumps into a head coaching spot after spending two seasons with Toronto (2018-2020) and two years with the Suns (2015-2018).
"We are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach," said President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. "This was an extensive and thorough search, and when we reached the conclusion, we felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time. He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous. We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward."
The Storm Lake, Iowa native also spent part of his coaching career in the NBA G League. During his time in the NBA G League, Bjorkgren was an assistant under Nick Nurse in helping the Iowa Energy win a title in 2011. He then went on to become the head coach of the Dakota Wizards/Santa Cruz Warriors from 2011-2013 and then left to return to Iowa to coach the Energy. Bjorkgren closed out his G League stay with one season as head coach for Bakersfield. In his four seasons as a head coach in the G League, Bjorkgren compiled a 126-74 record.
Prior to getting into coaching, Bjorkgren was a college basketball player for the University of South Dakota (1994-1996). He then transferred to Buena Vista to finish his college basketball career from 1996-1998.
Bjorkgren takes over a Pacers team that has made the playoffs in each of the last five seasons but has failed to get out of the first round.