Adrian Griffin will become the new head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Griffin was in the top three of head coach contenders for the Bucks along with Nick Nurse and Kenny Atkinson.
The Bucks dismissed coach Mike Budenholzer three weeks ago after five seasons with the team. The coaching change comes after the Bucks were the East’s top-seed and suffered a first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. The Bucks were the sixth 1-seed in NBA history to lose to an 8-seed.
Griffin does have history in Milwaukee. In 2008, Griffin was involved in the trade that included himself, as well as Luke Ridnour and Damon Jones being acquired by the Bucks. Griffin was to be released by the Bucks, but head coach Scott Skiles made him an assistant coach on the team.
Griffin coached in Milwaukee for 2 seasons before leaving for Chicago in 2010. He helped coach the Bulls until 2015, and was credited by Marquette University alum and NBA superstar Jimmy Butler when Butler received the Most Improved Player award for the 2014-15 season.
Griffin later coached for Orlando, Oklahoma City, and most recently Toronto.
Griffin became the assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors in 2018 after being hired by first-year Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.
Several family members and friends voicing their congrats as news broke. Several reports also suggest that Bucks Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo gave his stamp of approval for the selection.
The Bucks and Griffin are reportedly “progressing” on agreement terms and expected to reach a deal soon. The Bucks say Griffin’s leadership presence, along with his character, and his previous experience with successful defensive teams were some of the deciding factors into their selection.
Bucks general manager Jon Horst and team ownership became sold on Griffin’s leadership presence, character and ability to oversee high-level defensive teams, sources said.