Oklahoma City Thunder talk with Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder during a time out during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Seven of the Western Conference during the 2020 NBA Playoffs on September 02, 2020. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

The Oklahoma City Thunder promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach, succeeding Billy Donovan who departed in September after the team’s playoff exit.

Daigneault has risen to the position after six years with the club that included a head coaching assignment with Oklahoma City’s developmental G-League team.

The 35-year-old takes the helm with less than three weeks to go before training camp opens on December 1, with the 2020-21 season due to tip off on December 22.

Daigneault, who was an assistant to Donovan last year, will be tasked with getting the Thunder back into the post-season, something Donovan did in each of his five seasons.

But after the Thunder were ousted in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, he departed and was later hired as head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

“We are thrilled to have Mark assume the role of head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement.

“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.”


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