Mike Budenholzer (Photo: USA TODAY SPORTS)
ATLANTA -- Mike Budenholzer was named the team's new head coach by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Denny Ferry on Tuesday.
Budenholzer will be the twelfth head coach in Hawks history, as reported by the Hawks media relations staff.
"We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful," Ferry said. "His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team."
43 year old Budenholzer spent the last 19 years helping to coach the San Antonio Spurs. He was the No. 1 assistant to current Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for the past six years.
Popovich is the longest-tenured head coach in major professional sports and the third-winningest coach in NBA ever. He falls short on only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham.
"I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization for the last 19 years. I knew it would have to be a tremendous situation for me to leave and clearly coming to Atlanta as the head coach of the Hawks is perfect for me," Budenholzer said. "Ownership's commitment to taking this organization to the next level and creating a unique and special culture, partnering with a general manager like Danny Ferry who I have great respect for, and building a roster that has terrific potential because of the existing core and the ensuing flexibility presents a rare and uniquely positive opportunity."
While he served as assistant coach to Popovich in 1996-97, he helped lead the ball club to a league-best 908-438 (.675) on the regular season. He was also there for four NBA Championships -- 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
Budenholzer also put in time as an advance scout for the Team USA for the 2004 Olympics.
Popvich said he will miss Budenholzer both professionally and personally.
"I couldn't be happier for Mike for many reasons. As anyone who's been part of this program knows, he has been more of a co-head coach than an assistant for a long time. His knowledge of the game as well as his ability to teach and develop relationships with players are all special," he said.
The new Hawks coach graduated from Pomona College in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in politics, philosophy and economics. While in school, he was a four-time letterman in basketball and golf.
Post-college, Budenholzer played professional ball in Denmark for the Vejle Basketball Klub. He carried a team-high of 27.5 points per game in the 1993-94 season. Within the Lejle system, he began coaching for two different teams.
Budenholzer is a Holbrook, Az. native. He and his wife Mary Bet have four kids, Will, Libby, Hanna and John.
Until the 2013 NBA Finals come to a close, he will complete the season as the Spurs top assistant coach.