The Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly decided to promote from within when it comes to finding a replacement for Billy Donovan.
OKC is bumping assistant coach Mark Daigneault up to the head chair, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Daigneault joined Donovan’s staff with the Thunder this past season.
Prior to that, he served as head coach of the G League Oklahoma City Blue for five seasons. Daigneault has also served as an assistant coach at Holy Cross and Florida.
A graduate of UConn, he was a student manager under Jim Calhoun from 2003 to 2007.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are promoting assistant Mark Daigneault to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 11, 2020
The Thunder had an opening at head coach after not renewing Donovan’s contract at the end of the 2019-20 season. The two sides mutually parted ways, with Donovan taking over as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls.
In five seasons with OKC, Donovan went 243-157 in the regular season and reached the playoffs all five times. However, after a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2016, his teams lost in the first round in each of the last four seasons.
The Thunder appear to be a team in transition, and rumors that they will trade point guard Chris Paul have been widespread. We’ll see how Daigneault handles the challenges that lie ahead.