OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 11, 2020 – The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault the team’s new head coach, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to have Mark assume the role of head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” said Presti. “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. He has also shown the ability to empower both the players and staff he works with, and we are confident that he will help us continue to modernize our approach as an organization in a constantly evolving industry. Most of all, Mark has a great belief in and commitment to Oklahoma City and he will be a tremendous ambassador for our State.”
Daigneault (DAYG-nalt) becomes the fourth head coach in Thunder history after originally joining the organization as head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue in 2014. He is the first person to become an organization’s head coach after previously being the club’s G League head coach.
“It has been tremendous to see Mark’s growth as a coach and leader in this organization,” said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder Chairman. “He’s made Oklahoma City his home and is a proud member of the Thunder and the community. We are extremely confident that he is going to do a wonderful job for the team on and off the court.”
Prior to joining the Thunder coaching staff for the 2019-20 season, Daigneault spent five seasons as head coach of the Blue, where he amassed a 143-107 record (.572) and led the team to three consecutive division titles and four playoff appearances. During his final season at the helm of the Blue in 2018-19, Daigneault guided the club to a franchise-record 34 wins. He received G League Coach of the Month honors on two occasions during the season.
“The opportunity to be the head coach of the Thunder is truly a special honor,” said Daigneault. “Over my six years in Oklahoma City I’ve developed a deep commitment to the organization and a care for what is truly a special community that I call home. From my first day here, my values have always been aligned with those of the organization, and I’m looking forward to helping them continue to be lived out on and off the court. I want to thank Mr. Bennett, Sam and the entire organization for the opportunity, and I’m grateful to all the coaches, staff and especially players who have helped me throughout my career.”
Under Daigneault’s watch, the Blue had eight players called up to NBA rosters, four players signed to Two-Way Contracts and 10 Thunder players assigned.
In addition to Daigneault’s role on the Thunder bench during the 2019-20 season, he also served as a Thunder assistant coach during the 2015-16 season.
Daigneault spent four years at the University of Florida before joining the Thunder organization. During Daigneault’s four years in Gainesville, the program posted a 120-30 record (.800) while advancing to the Elite Eight each season. The Leominster, Mass. native spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross before joining the Florida coaching staff.
A 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Daigneault served as a student manager with the Huskies from 2003-07. Daigneault holds a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Florida.