MILWAUKEE-- General Manager John Hammond announced today the Bob Bender and Nick Van Exel will join Larry Drew's staff as assistant coaches for the Milwaukee Bucks. Bender joins the Bucks after nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, including the last three of with Drew as the head coach. Van Exel also worked with Drew as a member of the Hawks staff from 2010-2012 as the player development instructor.
Drew is excited to have the two former staff members from Atlanta to join him in Milwaukee this season.
“Bob’s merits as a coach have been proven through his past experience, and Nick’s successful career in the NBA gives him a strong platform to mentor and coach our players. They will be dedicated to the task of teaching and building up our young men in order for the Bucks to put a hard-working, committed team on the court," Drew said.
Bender was also associated with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2002-2004, and then began his coaching career as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke where he continued college rankings for 13 years. During these years he was first named a head coach at Illinois State in 1990, and then spent nine years at the University of Washington. Bender was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1996.
Bender played at Duke and Indiana, and is the only individual to play on two different teams in two different NCAA Championship games. He was drafted in the sixth round by the San Diego Clippers, but did not play.
Van Exel, who is a Kenosha, Wisconsin native had a 13-year career as a player in the NBA from 1993-2006. During this time he played in 76 playoff games and made one All-Star appearance in 1998. Van Exel was selected in the second round of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and in 1994 was named to the NBA's All-Rookie team.
Previously Van Exel worked for two years as an assistant coach at Texas Southern University, and then became the Atlanta Hawks' player development instructor in 2010.