Mike Budenholzer named Phoenix Suns head coach

May 11, 2024, 9:09 AM

Former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was officially named Phoenix Suns head coach on ...

Former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was officially named Phoenix Suns head coach on Saturday. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was named the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the team announced Saturday.

“We’re excited to name Mike as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and bring him back to his home state of Arizona,” Suns owner Mat Ishbia said in a statement. “Mike has proven himself to be among the most successful head coaches in the NBA. He is the right leader to take us to the next level and reach our championship goals.”

Budenholzer’s deal is worth $50-plus million over five years, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Friday evening.

The reported deal would make Budenholzer the fifth-highest paid coach by average annual value, as five head coaches are set to make eight figures next season — although there are more hires coming, such as for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Mike’s exceptional basketball acumen, championship pedigree and his standing as one of the NBA’s premier coaches will be invaluable as we compete for a championship,” said president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones. “We’re confident that under his leadership our team will reach new levels of success.”

Budenholzer will be the third head coach to work for Suns owner Mat Ishbia after the latter officially took control of the team in February 2023. Phoenix has had seven head coaches since 2015-16, Devin Booker’s rookie campaign.

Budenholzer is an Arizona native. He grew up in Holbrook in northern Arizona, where his father Vince won 10 regional titles and one state championship as a high school basketball coach. Vince is in the Arizona High School Athletics Coaches Hall of Fame.

“I am honored to be named head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the team I grew up watching. I would like to thank Mat Ishbia, Josh Bartelstein and James Jones for the opportunity to lead this team,” Budenholzer said. “I’m grateful to have a talented roster of players who are ready to compete and play a style of basketball that will bring out the best in all of them, and bring them together as we compete for championships.”

He spent five years as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and another five with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he won an NBA championship over the Suns in 2021. He earned NBA Coach of the Year honors once with each team.

Budenholzer replaces Frank Vogel, who was dismissed from the team after one season.

Phoenix Suns

Valley Suns G League team logo...

Bailey Leasure

G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim: Valley Suns completes our connection to the NBA

NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim joins Burns & Gambo and talks about the new Phoenix Suns G-League team, the Valley Suns.

2 days ago

Duke's Kyle Filipowski drives in on Houston's J'Wan Roberts in the second half of the sweet 16 roun...

Ryan Pasiecznik

ESPN mock draft has Suns taking Duke’s Kyle Filipowski

Duke center Kyle Filipowski could entice the Suns as a center of the future. Phoenix owns the No. 22 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

2 days ago

LeBron and Bronny James chat...

Dan Bickley

Could Phoenix Suns fans truly embrace LeBron, Bronny James?

Do you want to win your first championship courtesy of LeBron James? It’s a relevant question with reports the Suns plan to work out Bronny.

3 days ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans during a break in action on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, against the Ar...

Arizona Sports

Bronny James will work out for Suns ahead of 2024 NBA Draft, per report

The Phoenix Suns will hold a workout with USC prospect Bronny James before the 2024 NBA Draft, reports The Athletic's Shams Charania.

3 days ago

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker look on...

Tyler Drake

Suns’ Kevin Durant earns All-NBA 2nd Team honors, Devin Booker named to 3rd Team

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant and guard Devin Booker picked up All-NBA honors on Wednesday, the league announced.

5 days ago

Follow @KellanOlson...

Kellan Olson

Valley Suns reopen avenue for development through G League

The Suns have to maximize every possibility for improving their roster and they reopened one of those avenues with a G League franchise.

5 days ago

Mike Budenholzer named Phoenix Suns head coach