Nate Bjorkgren will be named the next head coach of the Dakota Wizards, and the first since the Golden State Warriors bought their new D-League team this summer, according to a report from the Bismarck Tribune's Lou Babiarz. Bjorkgren spent the previous four seasons as an assistant for the Iowa Energy.
This is the second promotion for Bjorkgren of the offseason, interestingly enough, because the Energy bumped him up to associate head coach following their 2011 NBA Development League championship run. Both promotions, as far as your's truly is concerned, are well warranted.
Bjorkgren was one of a handful of candidates that I know of that the Warriors interviewed for the position in Bismarck, including everyone but Steve Gansey from my original list, and fits the mold the Warriors front office was looking for at the beginning of this search.
"It may not necessarily be that you see veteran or former NBA players as a head coach," Larry Riley told the Tribune last month. "There may be some up-and-coming rising star as you've had here in the past with coach Joerger. We're looking for those kinds of people."
It's expected that Kris Weems, another recent hire of the Warriors, will probably show up on Bjorkgren's staff in some sort of capacity.
With Bjorkgren being hired in Dakota, this opens up a spot on Nick Nurse's staff in Iowa along with the following positions:
- Canton, the Cleveland Cavaliers new expansion team
- Los Angeles D-Fenders now that the Lakers have brought them out of hibernation
- Rio Grande Valley Vipers following Chris Finch's call-up to the Houston Rockets
- Springfield Armor, who haven't exactly fired incumbent Dee Brown, but have opened up a coaching search since the New Jersey Nets officially acquired the team this offseason.
- and, of course, the Texas Legends. That position could be filled as soon as Thursday if Bruce Pearl accepts the $500,000 offer, however.