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Oklahoma City Thunder promote assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach, the team announced Wednesday.

Daigneault, 35, replaces former head coach Billy Donovan, who is now coaching the Chicago Bulls.

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"The opportunity to be the head coach of the Thunder is truly a special honor," Daigneault said in a statement Wednesday. "Over my six years in Oklahoma City I've developed a deep commitment to the organization and a care for what is truly a special community that I call home.

"From my first day here, my values have always been aligned with those of the organization, and I'm looking forward to helping them continue to be lived out on and off the court."

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Daigneault takes over the Thunder within three weeks of the start of training camp on Dec. 1. Prior to moving into the head-coaching position, he spent five years as the coach of the G League's OKC Blues. He had a .572 winning percentage and won three division titles with the team.

"We are thrilled to have Mark assume the role of head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder," general manager Sam Presti said Wednesday. "He has been a selfless and effective leader within our organization since his arrival in 2014.

"Mark is a values-based leader, continuous learner, and someone that will help us continue the repositioning of our organization on and off the court."

Daigneault transitioned to the Thunder's coaching staff for the 2019-20 campaign, joining Donovan on the bench in a season when Oklahoma City earned the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Donovan's contract expired after the season, which led him to accept the Bulls' coaching job.

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