The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have named Nate McMillan as their head coach.
McMillan has spent the last three seasons as Associate Head Coach for the Pacers under Frank Vogel.
“I truly believe Nate is the right coach for us at this time,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When I heard he was interested, I got in touch with him, met with him and in our conversation I came away with all the confidence in the world in Nate to lead our franchise to where we want to go. His experience as a player, head coach and assistant coach in the NBA are valuable assets for us.”
“I want to thank Larry, Herb Simon and the Pacers for this opportunity, which is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “I’ve been around this franchise three years and understand what the expectations are and look forward to working hard to try to meet them. We have a good team and good base to build from. I’m very anxious to get started.”
The 51-year-old (8/3/64) McMillan has a vast basketball background as a player and a coach. After playing collegiately at North Carolina State, McMillan was drafted by Seattle (30th overall) in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics and had his number (10) retired. He is second in franchise history in assists and steals and ranks in the top 10 in eight other categories. He was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team twice (1994 and ’95) and led the league in steals in the 94-95 season with 2.96 per game.
After his playing days, McMillan was a Seattle assistant coach for two years and became the interim coach in 2000. He remained the Sonics’ coach until 2005 and then became Portland’s head coach until he was let go in March, 2012. In 2008-09, he led the Trail Blazers to a 54-28 record, the sixth-best record in franchise history. McMillan compiled a 478-452 (.514) record as a head coach for both teams. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team where he won gold medals in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. McMillan was also inducted into the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 after playing at Chowan College before transferring to North Carolina State.