The Atlanta Hawks agreed to hire Philadelphia 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce as their new head coach Friday, saying in a news release that it was “critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program.”
Pierce’s deal is for three years with a team option for a fourth, sources said.
“Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said in the statement.
Pierce met with Hawks officials for a third time earlier in the day after emerging as the primary focus of the franchise’s head-coaching search, league sources said. Pierce traveled to Atlanta and met with team officials, including Schlenk, on Friday at the team’s facility.
At least nine NBA teams will have a different coach than the one that started the 2017-18 season.
“This is a day I’ve been working towards for a long time, and it’s an honor to be the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” Pierce said. “I have great respect for Travis and strong belief in his plan to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta. After spending time with ownership, it’s clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization. This opportunity is a perfect fit for me, and I’m eager to get started.”
Pierce first met with Schlenk a week ago, and he met with Atlanta majority owner Tony Ressler earlier this week.
Atlanta parted ways with coach Mike Budenholzer on April 25.
As Atlanta moves into a complete rebuild, Pierce’s experience with Philadelphia’s process and strong background in player development made an impression on Schlenk and ownership. Atlanta has four picks in the top 33 of the NBA draft.
Pierce has been an assistant for 11 years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers.
He spent four years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Santa Clara, before joining the NBA. He played with Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash at Santa Clara.