Former Utah head coach Quinn Snyder is one of the candidates being considered to take over for Nate McMillan, according to Landry Fields, general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, who announced on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Hawks dismissed McMillan as head coach, and Fields emphasized that the team’s current eighth-place ranking in the Eastern Conference is unacceptable for a squad that made it to the conference finals in 2021.
The 56-year-old Snyder led Utah to a record of 372-264 throughout the 2014-22 season. When he stepped down following the conclusion of the previous season, he led the Jazz to six straight berths in the playoffs.
Fields said Snyder’s availability “is a consideration in that I feel safe revealing his name.” Still, he added that there are other contenders whose names he wanted to keep private since other organizations already employ them.
During the 2013–14 season, Snyder was an assistant with the Hawks.
Kenny Atkinson, an assistant coach for Golden State, and Charles Lee, an associate coach for Milwaukee, are two other potential options. Both once worked as assistants with the Atlanta Falcons.
According to Fields, he has already begun consulting with possible candidates and may make a hiring before the season is through. But, Assistant Coach Joe Prunty may not be engaged in the interview process for the full-time post. Prunty assumed the role of Interim Coach beginning with Wednesday’s practice.
Fields remarked, “To do this now, kind of at the last minute, there’s enough on Joe’s plate,” adding that he wanted Prunty to concentrate on the work at hand and that “we’ll tackle everything else afterward.”
At the time, McMillan, 58 years old, led the Atlanta Hawks to a record of 99-80 during his tenure as head coach, including a description of 27-11 during the second half of the 2020-21 season. Because of his accomplishment during that season in guiding Atlanta to the finals of the Eastern Conference, he was given a full-time role there.
McMillan was unable to repeat the same level of success. After advancing through the play-in tournament, the Hawks’ season ended with a defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
The Atlanta Falcons need help maintaining their position in the top 10 to secure a berth in the play-in field. The Hawks entered the All-Star break having lost four of their previous six games, and they now sit only one game ahead of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference standings.
Fields said that he thought about changing coaches for one month and that the team’s string of consecutive defeats to Charlotte and the New York Knicks before the break had a role in his decision.
Fields said, “I do feel there was slippage, and I believed it was a need we needed to address.”
Fields said he should have discussed the decision with point guard Trae Young or other players before implementing it. Areas noted that the conjecture that issues with Young hindered McMillan’s efforts was unfair to the player and was not a factor in his decision to make a coaching change. Fields also stated that the supposition did not affect his decision to change coaches.
McMillan has coached the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, and Atlanta Hawks throughout 19 seasons, with an overall record of 760-668.