Thunder’s Mark Diagneault awarded the NBCA Coach of the Year: ‘It is humbling to be chosen’

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Thunder head coach Mark Diagneault has led their franchise to one of their best ever regular seasons with a 57-25 record at the top of the Western Conference’s standings, even above the reigning champs in Denver. This is why he’s more than worthy to be the 2024 recipient of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award.

The National Basketball Coaches Association announced this news on Monday, as the accolade that anually recognizes tactician’s dedication was given out to the Oklahoma City leader. 

There were other five coaches who received votes, including J.B. Bickerstaff of the Cavaliers, Minnesota’ Chris Finch, Jamahl Mosley from Orlando and of course, current NBA-best Joe Mazzulla of the Celtics. 

“Congratulations to Mark Daigneault on leading a young group of talented players to such a successful season,” said Rick Carlisle, who besides coaching the Pacers he is the NBCA President. “He led the youngest team in NBA history to clinch a top playoff seed and has established himself as one of the top coaches in the game.”

Diagneault is currently coaching the Thunder through his fourth campaign, and has produced their first 55+ win campaign since the 2015/16 season, which is a 17-match improvement in comparison to last year. 

“It is humbling to be chosen for this honor by my peers, for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration,” said the Oklahoma City coach. “Our team’s success this season has been driven by a group of talented players, whose commitment and competitiveness has been uncommon. Coaching them is a privilege.”

The 39-year-old admitted he couldn’t achieve what he’s done without his staff. “I’m also grateful for our assistant coaches and support staff, whose invisible work glues our operation together. Representing the Thunder organization and Oklahoma City, alongside competent and high character coworkers brings me tremendous fulfillment. A special thank you to Clay Bennett and Sam Presti for the opportunity to live that out every day,” he shared.

Coach Daigneault has helped transform a young roster into one of the most prolific offenses in the NBA

The Thunder started off this season as the second-youngest roster in the league, at an average of 24 years of age. They also became the youngest locker room in NBA history to reach the 55-win mark and earn the top seed of the Western Conference.

“Mark Daigneault is extremely deserving of this award and the recognition from his coaching peers,” said David Fogel, NBCA Executive Director and General Counsel. The team also led the NBA in three-point efficiency at 38.9%, proving their good work around the perimeter.

The Oklahoma City coach guided his squad to hit the league’s top five in field goal percentage, three point percentage and free throw percentage. Now the roster prepares to start their NBA Playoff run at the end of this week.

“Coach Daigneault’s hard work, commitment, and dedication to his players led a young Thunder team to the top seed in the West and one of the best two-year improvements in NBA history. Congratulations to Coach Daigneault, the Thunder Assistant Coaches, and the entire franchise on winning the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award,” Fogel insisted.