Posted January 08, 2013

Bucks part ways with coach Skiles, name Boylan as replacement

Ben Golliver, Jim Boylan, Milwaukee Bucks, Scott Skiles
In four seasons, Scott Skiles led the Bucks to just one playoff appearance. (Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

In four seasons, Scott Skiles led the Bucks to just one playoff appearance. (Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

The Bucks have parted ways with coach Scott Skiles, making him the third NBA coach to lose his job during the 2012-13 season, and tabbed assistant coach Jim Boylan as his replacement. Boylan also served as interim coach when Skiles was fired by the Bulls in the 2007-08 season.

The decision to part ways with Skiles was first reported by USA Today Sports; Boylan’s promotion was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Skiles joins former Lakers coach Mike Brown and former Nets coach Avery Johnson as head coaches deposed so far this season.

In a Tuesday press conference, Bucks GM John Hammond told reporters that he would not begin a coaching search process, electing instead to go with Boylan for the rest of the 2012-13 season.

“Jim Boylan is not an interim coach,” he said. “He is our coach for the rest of the season.”

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Hammond and Skiles characterized the decision to part ways as mutual.

“Scott and I met yesterday after practice and after some honest discussion, we both came to the conclusion that it was best to part ways,” Hammond said. “It is never an easy decision to make, but in the end a decision we felt was best for both parties. I want to thank Scott for his hard work, dedication and the imprint he leaves on our team and our entire organization. We all wish him and his family well.”

Skiles, 48, was in the final year of his contract with the Bucks. NBA.com reported earlier Monday that Skiles was not expected to return as coach of the Bucks when his contract ended this season and Yahoo! Sports reported that a friend of Skiles’ said that he “hated his team.”

“John and I met and mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of both parties,” Skiles said.  “The Senator, the people of Wisconsin, and especially those in the Bucks organization have been very kind to me, my wife, and family. I am truly grateful for our time here. We are leaving with many fond memories.”

Known as a demanding coach, Skiles, a 1986 first-round pick, spent 10 NBA seasons as a pass-first point guard with the Bucks, Pacers, Magic and Sixers. His current Bucks roster was headlined by two guards known more for their shot-launching: Brandon Jennings  is averaging 19.4 points while shooting 40 percent on 18 shots per game and Monta Ellis is averaging 17.8 points while shooting 40 percent on 16.5 shots per game. That unreliability from the backcourt is a major reason why Milwaukee ranks No. 27 in offensive efficiency. This season, however, the Bucks improved to No. 9 in defensive efficiency from No. 17 in 2011-12, thanks in large part to improvement in their frontcourt rotation.

“I believe this team can and will have success in the next 50 games and postseason. I want to thank the players for all of their hard work. I wish them all the best.”

The Bucks are currently 16-16 on the season, but have lost four consecutive games. Skiles coached the Bucks for four-plus seasons and leaves with a record of 162-182 (.471). Under Skiles, Milwaukee advanced to the playoffs just once, getting eliminated in the first-round in 2009-10. Skiles previously coached the Suns and Bulls for a combined seven-plus seasons. He holds a career coaching record of 443-433 (.506).

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