MILWAUKEE -- Frank Hamblen was fired as coach of the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday but he will remain with the club to assist it in preparing for the upcoming NBA draft, the organization announced.
Hamblen will be assigned additional responsibilities with the Bucks during the 1992-93 season once the position of vice president of basketball operations is filled, the Bucks announced.
The firing comes after one of the worst seasons in Bucks' history. The Bucks finished the season 31-51, the worst record since 30-52 in the 1976-77 season. Hamblen compiled a 23-42 record as head coach.
'I appreciate the fact that I was given an opportunity to be a head coach in the National Basketball Association,' Hamblen said in a statement released by the Bucks. 'It was under very difficult circumstances.
'I knew that we would have to play extremely competitive basketball for the remainder of the season for me to remainas the head coach. It didn't happen. However I feel people in the NBA, Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee understand the circumstances.'
Hamblen, 45, became coach last December when Del Harris stepped down to concentrate on the club's overall basketball operations. Harris was removed from his position of vice president of operations near the end of the regular season. Hamblen had been Harris's top assistant the previous four seasons.
Hamblen's contract was to expire at the end of June.
'Frank did a good job for the Bucks under challenging circumstances, ' Bucks President Herb Kohl said. 'He is a good coach and a good person, the kind of individual that we are pleased to keep in our organization.'
'Frank Hamblen assumed our head coach position at a difficult time of the season. He did everything we asked of him in a challenging situation,' Bucks Vice President-Business Operations John Steinmiller said.
'It is our feeling our situation dictates a change at this time. Frank is a complete professional and has accepted our decision well. We value Frank's experience, his dedication to the Bucks, and his positive attitude, and want him to continue to be an important part of our development in the future.'
Hamblen spent 22 seasons coaching in professional basketball, including stints with the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association and the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and Kansas City Kings of the NBA. The Milwaukee position was his first head coaching job.