Bucks fire head coach Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer and Bucks general manager Jon Horst

Last updated on May 8th, 2023 at 02:57 pm

The Milwaukee Bucks announced today that they have fired head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Budenholzer had coached the Bucks since 2018. In his first year with the Bucks, he was named NBA Coach of the Year as the Bucks had the best regular season record in the NBA, a huge improvement from the previous season, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

He led the team to an NBA championship in 2021, their first since 1971.

The Bucks were consistently one of the top teams in the NBA during the regular season under Budenholzer’s leadership, but had early playoff exits in 2020, 2022 and 2023, losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2020 and 2022 and in the first round in 2023.

This year’s playoff loss was particularly stunning as the Bucks had the best record in the NBA, but lost 4 of 5 games in the first round to the Miami Heat and were eliminated. It was only the fifth time in NBA history that a #1 seed in the playoffs lost to a #8 seed.

“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. “Bud helped lead our team for five incredible seasons, to the Bucks’ first title in 50 years, and into an era of sustained success. We are grateful for the culture of winning and leadership that Bud helped create in Milwaukee. This is an opportunity for us to refocus and reenergize our efforts as we continue building toward our next championship season.”

Mike Budenholzer points at fans watching the Bucks NBA Championship victory parade in 2021.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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