The Atlanta Hawks hired Jim Thomas as an assistant, head coach Mike Budenholzer announced Friday via an official news release.
“We’re pleased to add Jim to our coaching staff,” Budenholzer said. “He’s been a part of a number of successful programs, and his coaching and playing experience will blend well with our group.”
Thomas has a rich basketball pedigree as he played college ball at Indiana University under the legendary coach Bobby Knight from 1979-83. Thomas was the starting shooting guard on the Hoosiers’ 1981 National Championship team. He also played football in his day, and was pretty damn good. The Green Bay Packers picked him in the 10th round of the 1983 NFL Draft as a defensive back. However, the Ft. Lauderdale, native chose the basketball route, and was selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers.
Thomas appeared in 161 games over four seasons with the Pacers, Clippers and Timberwolves. He averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.9 minutes per game, while posting a 47.1 field-goal percentage and 76.3 free-throw percentage. Thomas also spent time playing in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), the World Basketball League (WBL), and overseas in Spain with Baloncesto Murcia.
Most recently a college scout for the Thunder the last four years, Thomas was previously with the Knicks (scout, 2005-07), Indiana University (assistant coach, 2001-04), and Raptors as an assistant coach (1996-99) and scout (1994-96).
Thomas joins Quin Synder, Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins and Kenny Atkinson to round out the Atlanta Hawks’ new coaching staff.