Hawks confirm Nate McMillan is franchise’s 14th head coach

Hawks head coach Nate McMillan gives his players a fist bump as they take the court in March.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
Caption
Hawks head coach Nate McMillan gives his players a fist bump as they take the court in March. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

It’s official. No more interim.

The Hawks announced the hiring of Nate McMillan as the franchise’s 14th head coach Thursday.

On Monday, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that an agreement in principle had been reached but details remained to be worked out.

McMillan took over as interim coach this season, replacing Lloyd Pierce, and the Hawks immediately went on an eight-game win streak. He helped transform the Hawks from being in danger of not achieving their goal of reaching the playoffs to battling Milwaukee in the East finals and coming up two wins short of the NBA Finals.

The Hawks were 37-19 under McMillan, including the playoffs, and finished 41-31 in the regular season (going 27-11 under McMillan after that 14-20 start). The Hawks went 20-47 last season.

“I would like to thank (team owners) Tony (Ressler), Jami (Gertz) and Travis for putting their faith in me and giving me the opportunity to serve as head coach,” McMillan said in a statement released by the team. “I am truly blessed to be able to lead this special group into the future. 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.”

The Hawks did not disclose terms of the deal, but ESPN has reported it’s a four-year deal.

Schlenk and McMillan had agreed not to make anything official regarding McMillan’s future with the franchise until after the season was over. The more formal negotiations with McMillan’s agents took place Sunday, and a deal was struck Monday morning.

“The incredible job Nate did after taking over this season made this an easy decision,” Schlenk said earlier in the week. “We were able to see how gifted a tactician, motivator and leader he is firsthand, and the high level of respect and trust he earned from our players made securing him as our head coach our top priority.”

Staff writer Sarah K. Spencer contributed to this article.