Thunder's Daigneault named NBA Coach of the Year

Mark Daigneault of the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Oklahoma City Thunder;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Oklahoma City Thunder</a> was named the 2024 NBA Coach of the Year (Joshua Gateley)
Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder was named the 2024 NBA Coach of the Year (Joshua Gateley)

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault was named the 2024 NBA Coach of the Year, the league announced on Sunday.

Daigneault, in his fourth season as the Thunder's head coach, received the award for the first time, becoming the second Oklahoma City coach to win the honor after Scott Brooks in 2010.

The 39-year-old American guided the Thunder to a 57-25 regular-season record and the top seeding in the Western Conference for the NBA playoffs.

The Thunder became the youngest team, as measured by NBA playing time, to finish with the top record in a conference since the 1970-71 season, the NBA's first with Eastern and Western Conferences.

Oklahoma City improved by 17 wins from the 40-42 record of the 2022-23 campaign and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

The Thunder have not won a playoff series since 2016 but as of Sunday they had a commanding 3-0 lead over the New Orleans Pelicans in their best-of-seven first-round series.

Daigneault served as a collegiate assistant coach at Holy Cross and Florida before joining Oklahoma City's G-League development team, which he coached for five seasons before becoming an assistant coach for the Thunder for the 2019-20 campaign.

Daigneault was named to replace Billy Donovan as head coach of the club in November 2020 and has a 143-175 record over the past four campaigns. The team's record has improved with each season under Daigneault.