Mark Daigneault Rumors
Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is scheduled to speak at this year’s Coaches Clinic at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The seventh annual event, which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, will be led by Mark Daigneault, head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue, and will feature sessions from coaches from across the U.S.
Presti’s trip to Gainesville is of particular interest given his track record with the Gators coaching staff. Last summer, Presti hired two Gators assistants: Mark Daigneault as head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue and Oliver Winterbone as an analyst. Presti also is believed to have a close relationship with Donovan, who on several occasions has expressed interest in making a jump to the NBA.
Donovan and Presti have become friends over the years, and Presti’s analytical influence has worn off on the Gators coach, who has progressively become more interested in advanced statistics. In fact, Presti has hired two members of Donovan’s staff in the last 12 months — assistant Mark Daigneault to coach OKC’s D-League team, and video coordinator Oliver Winterbone to serve as a basketball information analyst. Another thing Presti values is continuity between the NBA franchise and its D-League affiliate, which last year moved from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. He also values information, plenty of which he’s no doubt gotten about Donovan through employing his former assistants for almost a year.
The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault as the head coach of its D-League team, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization,” said Presti. “His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.”
Oklahoma City’s newest professional team has its first head coach. On Friday afternoon, Sam Presti and the Thunder officially hired Mark Daigneault to lead the 66ers – OKC’s D-League affiliate which is relocating from Tulsa to Oklahoma City this season. Daignealt is replacing Darko Rajakovic, who was promoted to the Thunder’s coaching staff this offseason.