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Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach

13 June 2018

Toronto has made a decision to promote Dwane Casey's old assistant, and will hire Nick Nurse as the team's ninth head coach in franchise history according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski adds, however, that the two sides are still working through contractual details.

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Nurse, a long-time assistant under Casey, was one of the first people interviewed by president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster and was the leading candidate throughout much of the hiring process. Toronto went 59-23 this season, the best record in the Eastern Conference and second-best record in the National Basketball Association behind only Houston - and Nurse was in charge of the offense, led by All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina were the finalists to replace Dwane Casey, who was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Raptors to a franchise-best 59 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. Nurse would probably have to be considered the front-runner of the group, given his track record and how the offense shifted and held up in the playoffs, but it's always hard to ascribe credit and blame across a coaching staff. He's been an active coach since 1989 but spent most of his career in college and the D-League. He also won two rings at the minor-league level. The Pistons lured Casey with a five-year deal that was announced Monday.

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After a stint as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks, Casey took over as Raptors' coach from Jay Triano to start the 2011-12 season. "I know where we started".

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Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach