Toronto Raptors settle on assistant Nick Nurse as new head coach

TORONTO — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the Toronto Raptors have settled on assistant coach Nick Nurse as their new head coach.

Toronto fired Dwane Casey on May 11 after the team was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Casey, who had led the Raptors to three consecutive 50-win seasons, was named coach of the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

The 50-year-old Nurse is know for his offensive skills as a coach, winning the D-League championship in 2010-11 and 2012-13 before joining the Raptors.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nurse was 23 when he became head coach of Grand View College, making him the youngest college basketball coach in the U.S.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996.

ESPN first reported the hiring. A Raptors official said the team had no comment at the moment.

Toronto’s coaching search reportedly had narrowed down to Nurse and San Antonio assistant coach Ettore Messina.

Mike Budenholzer, former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and Spurs assistant, was also seen as a front-runner before being hired by Milwaukee.

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