Hawks add to coaching staff, shake up College Park Skyhawks’ FO

Atlanta Hawks.  (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks.  (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks welcomed another new face into the organization. Daniel Starkman is taking over as general manager of the Hawks’ G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks but they are also naming Ryan Schmidt as the new head coach.

“I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity and for the organization’s belief in me. I’m eager to start this journey of helping build the Skyhawks into a team that reflects this organization’s emphasis on player development,” said Starkman, in a statement released through the club.

He also noted that he is “eager” to work with Schmidt and the entire organization.

Starkman has been with the organization for the last four years, serving as Senior Manager. But Schmidt is fresh off of winning Coach of the Year in the British Basketball League, has spent time in Canada where he was named the 2022 CEBL Coach of the Year, and was an assistant for the Toronto Raptors Affiliate (Raptors 905) in the G League.

It may be there where he first crossed paths with Hawks general manager Landry Fields who was general manager of the San Antonio Spurs affiliate in 2019 before joining the Hawks as assistant general manager in 2020.

Schmidt will serve in a dual capacity with a role on Hawks head coach Quin Snyder’s staff as an assistant.

“It’s an honor to join the Atlanta Hawks organization as the new head coach of the College Park Skyhawks and work on the Hawks coaching staff. I’m extremely appreciative for the opportunity provided by Landry, [assistant general manager Kyle Korver], and Quin, and am honored to play a part in helping carry out their vision,” said Schmidt, per the Skyhawks.

Fields praised both men and the Hawks have added/reconfigured a couple of pieces they hope help them in achieving their ultimate goal of winning a championship.

Atlanta Hawks’ overhaul continues

This has been an aggressive overhaul for the Hawks over the last eight months with significant changes made to the front office, coaching staff, and roster in that span. It will be interesting to see how much patience they have with this iteration.

The last one only lasted five-plus seasons with two head coaching changes in that time.

With Snyder at the helm, the Hawks have arguably their most accomplished head coach of that window.

This is still a results-oriented business and the Hawks have not been ones to let things develop at their own pace, hence pushing fast-forward on the team that made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21 after an active offseason. That wound up shortening the shelf-life of their young core of which only Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter, and Onyeka Okongwu remain.

And Hunter has been bandied about in trade rumors while similar chatter from the outside seems to always follow Young. The Hawks, despite all of the turnover they have experienced, don’t seem to have the same leeway other teams with similar sudden changes might get.

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Their clock is invariably tied to Young who has said he wants to win more and Dejounte Murray whose four-year, $120 million contract extension this summer signals the Hawks are indeed more intent on competing than facing yet another rebuild.