Thunder Name Assistant Mark Daigneault as OKC’s New Head Coach


The Oklahoma City Thunder named assistant coach Mark Daigneault as their new head coach on Wednesday.

Daigneault was an assistant coach for OKC last season and the head coach of the OKC Blue developmental league team for five seasons before that.

Daigneault was 143-107 as the Blue’s coach, leading them to three straight division titles and four playoff appearances.

Daigneault replaces Billy Donovan, who mutually agreed to part ways with the Thunder in September.

Daigneault was an assistant on Donovan’s coaching staff at Florida and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of the Thunder is truly a special honor,” said Daigneault. â€œOver my six years in Oklahoma City I’ve developed a deep commitment to the organization and a care for what is truly a special community that I call home. From my first day here, my values have always been aligned with those of the organization, and I’m looking forward to helping them continue to be lived out on and off the court. I want to thank Mr. Bennett, Sam and the entire organization for the opportunity, and I’m grateful to all the coaches, staff and especially players who have helped me throughout my career.”

“We are thrilled to have Mark assume the role of head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” said Thunder General Manager Sam Presti. “He has been a selfless and effective leader within our organization since his arrival in 2014. Mark is a values-based leader, continuous learner, and someone that will help us continue the repositioning of our organization on and off the court. The amount of head coaching experience and diverse experiences through his tenure with the Blue is rare for someone his age. He has also shown the ability to empower both the players and staff he works with, and we are confident that he will help us continue to modernize our approach as an organization in a constantly evolving industry. Most of all, Mark has a great belief in and commitment to Oklahoma City and he will be a tremendous ambassador for our State.”

“It has been tremendous to see Mark’s growth as a coach and leader in this organization,” said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder Chairman. â€œHe’s made Oklahoma City his home and is a proud member of the Thunder and the community. We are extremely confident that he is going to do a wonderful job for the team on and off the court.”

Daigneault will meet with the media via video teleconference later Wednesday morning.

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