The Pacers are making a quick change at head coach.
Nate Bjorkgren has been fired as Indiana’s coach after just one season with the team, ESPN reported Wednesday.
There was an “insurmountable gulf” between Bjorkgren and the Pacers locker room, according to ESPN, and the front office decided to move on as it plans on being a playoff contender. Bjorkgren, 45, was in his first year as an NBA head coach after winning a ring with the Raptors as an assistant.
The Pacers are now on the hunt for a more established head coach, ESPN reported, after the team went 34-38 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15.
The Pacers hired Bjorkgren after firing Nate McMillan, current interim head coach of the No. 5 seeded Hawks — who beat the Knicks in the first round and are tied 1-1 with the 76ers in the conference semifinals. McMillan made the playoffs in each of his four seasons as the Pacers’ head coach but lost in the first round each time.
Under Bjorkgren, the Pacers landed in the NBA play-in tournament as the No. 9 seed, defeating the Hornets before falling to the Wizards for the final playoff berth.
Bjorkgren was previously an assistant in Toronto and Phoenix and was a head coach for the Warriors G League team, formerly the Dakota Wizards, from 2011-2013.