The Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Larry Drew to be the new head coach, effectively ending the team’s search process.
Drew, the former coach of the Atlanta Hawks, will receive a four-year, $10 million deal from the Bucks, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.
“After a thorough search and interview process, it was clear to us that Larry’s track record in Atlanta, along with his experience as an assistant coach and player, make him the right choice to lead our club,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a statement. “We look forward to what he will bring this franchise, and we welcome him and his family to Milwaukee.”
In the days leading up to this announcement, rumors were circling that Milwaukee’s field of candidates had been narrowed down to three: Larry Drew, Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and Lakers assistant Steve Clifford. There was no stated order of preference before the decision was made, as is usually the case with these highly secretive coaching searches.
Drew, 55, is coming off a successful three-year stint as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, leading the team to the playoffs in all three seasons and boasting a respectable 128-102 (.557) overall record. His demonstrated consistency is undoubtedly a key reason the Bucks targeted him.
Before arriving in Atlanta, where he served as an assistant coach for six years under Mike Woodson before assuming head coaching responsibilities in 2010, Drew spent two years assisting Byron Scott during the Nets’ successful run in the early 2000′s. Prior to that, Drew had stints as assistant coach for the Wizards, Pistons and Lakers over an 11-year span. Drew also spent 11 years as a player in the league, with impressive averages of 11.4 points, 5.2 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game over his career.
Drew will immediately face a tough task of managing the Bucks’ many roster issues this off-season, including how to handle the potential departures of free agents Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Fortunately Drew joined the team with enough time to effectively prepare for the upcoming draft on June 27, in which Milwaukee holds the No.15 and No.43 overall picks.