Jon Horst Rumors
Matt Velazquez: “I’m very hopeful that the majority of my staff will come with me,” Mike Budenholzer said. Noted Jon Horst has been great at working with him & staff is a priority. Believes in the group he had in ATL, but is open sitting down with other assistants, including prior Bucks coaches.
The Milwaukee Bucks today named Mike Budenholzer as the team’s new head coach. “We are thrilled to welcome Mike Budenholzer as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “Mike has played a key role in building successful teams throughout his career. He’s widely respected and has shown a special ability to teach and develop players. His leadership, basketball intellect, championship-level experience and communication skills make him the right fit to take our team to the next level.”
Budenholzer, 48, most recently served as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks where he guided the team to a 213-197 (.520) record over the last five seasons, including four playoff appearances and a franchise best 60-22 record in 2014-15. He was named NBA Coach of the Year following the 2014-15 campaign that saw the Hawks reach the Eastern Conference Finals. “I’m extremely grateful to the Bucks ownership group and Jon Horst to be named the next head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” Budenholzer said. “There are terrific people throughout the organization and together we have a tremendous opportunity to take the Bucks to the next level. I look forward to working with our group of young and exciting players and helping us evolve in many ways to succeed on the court. The venues are also in place with an incredible, new state-of-the art arena and first-class Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center. The tremendously supportive fans in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin are waiting and ready. Now it’s up to us to put all the pieces together, and I can’t wait to get started.”
In late May 2017, everything changed. Hammond left for the Orlando Magic, the Bucks underwent a search for a new general manager instead of promoting assistant GM Justin Zanik and after nearly a month, ownership decided to hire Horst, who had been with the team for nine seasons and had most recently been Milwaukee’s director of basketball operations. It was just the beginning of a whirlwind first season for the new general manager. “It’s definitely different sitting in this chair,” Horst said. “I don’t know that you could fully ever prepare or understand what a job like this is until you have it, until you learn it and live it.”
That summer wasn’t just about managing the roster, though, as Horst also had to put together a staff, including accounting for the franchise’s new G League developmental team and finding an assistant general manager to support him in his new role, a position that went to Milt Newton. “What I’m proud about and the things I think we did well, is every day that I’ve been in this job for these 10 months we’ve gotten better and better at having processes, making decisions, being collaborative, building a culture,” Horst said.
“I would just point to a lot of the things in the business that have progressively gotten better. You can’t expect to have them in place and ready the moment you get in even if I were someone who had been a general manager for 13 years instead of someone who had just been in the NBA for 13 years. You’re not going to come into a new environment, hire a completely new staff and start working with all your processes and decision-making things in place. It takes time to get things implemented. I’m proud of the way that we’ve done that and that we’re going to continue to do that.”