The Milwaukee Bucks have hired Adrian Griffin as head coach.
Griffin, who becomes the 17th head coach in franchise history, brings 15 seasons of NBA coaching experience to the Bucks, most recently spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors.
“Adrian is a widely-respected coach and former player, who brings great leadership and experience to our team,” said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. “His championship-level coaching pedigree, character, basketball acumen and ability to connect with and develop players make him the ideal choice to lead our team. He has earned this opportunity.”
In Griffin’s time as an assistant coach, the Raptors finished in the league’s top 10 of both defensive rating and fewest points allowed per game in four of his five seasons, including in 2019-20 when they allowed a league-low 106.5 points per game. He was part of the development of a young core of players that included the league’s Most Improved Player, the NBA Rookie of the Year and four players who made six All-Star appearances.
“I’m incredibly honored and grateful to Wes, Jamie, Dee, Jimmy and Jon to be named the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Griffin. “The Bucks are a championship organization and I’m thrilled to work with an established roster of high character and talented players. I’m excited to be back in Milwaukee and I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to joining the Raptors, Griffin spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2016-18. His NBA coaching experience also includes stops as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic (2015-16), Chicago Bulls (2010-15) and the Bucks (2008-10). In Griffin’s 15 seasons as an assistant coach, he was part of teams that made the playoffs 11 times, with two Conference Finals appearances in addition to winning an NBA title with the Raptors in 2019.
“Adrian is well-regarded throughout the NBA, and we believe that his vast experience working under and playing for successful head coaches makes him the right person to guide our team in competing for championships,” said Bucks co-owners Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan and Dee and Jimmy Haslam. “Following a widespread coaching search, we are extremely impressed by Adrian’s leadership and communication skills and welcome him to the Bucks family.”
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Griffin began his coaching career after a nine-year NBA playing career with Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle from 1999-08. He appeared in 477 regular-season games in his NBA career and averaged 4.0 points in 16.8 minutes per game. Griffin also saw action in 48 playoff games, including in 2006 when he reached the NBA Finals with the Mavericks.
Griffin played collegiately at Seton Hall for four seasons where he earned All-Big East Second Team honors as a senior and was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. After his collegiate career, Griffin played professionally in the United States Basketball League, the Continental Basketball Association and internationally in Italy. His coaching experience also includes working with the USA men’s national team that won gold at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain in 2014.
A press conference introducing Griffin as the Bucks’ head coach will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT in GATHER at Deer District. Details to follow.