Iowa Native Named Head Coach of Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers have hired Nate Bjorkgren to be their next head coach.
The 45-year-old was born in Storm Lake and began his college basketball career playing for University of South Dakota where he met current Toronto Raptors head coach -- and Iowa native - Nick Nurse, who was an assistant coach. Bjorkgren eventually transferred to his hometown college, Buena Vista University.
After graduating in 1998, he landed his first coaching job, as an assistant at Linn-Mar High School in Marion. From there he moved to a high school coaching job in Arizona for a few years before returning to Iowa as an assistant -- under head coach Nick Nurse -- with the Iowa Energy of the G-League.
In 2015, Bjorkgren was promoted to the NBA as an assistant coach and player development coordinator for the Phoenix Suns under head coach Jeff Hornacek.
In 2018, he was announced as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors under new head coach Nick Nurse.
He replaces Nate McMillan, who was fired after Indiana was swept in the first round of the 2020 playoffs.