Sports

Mike Budenholzer: The Man Behind the Bucks’ Success

An image of Mike Budenholzer
Mike Budenholzer: The Man Behind the Bucks’ Success/PHOTO COURTESY: Getty Images

Mike Budenholzer is one of the most respected and successful coaches in the NBA today.

He is the former head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, who led them to their first championship in 50 years in 2021.

He is also a two-time NBA Coach of the Year and a four-time NBA champion as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs.

But who is Mike Budenholzer, and what makes him such a great coach?

Here are some facts and stories about the man behind the Bucks’ success.

Was Mike Budenholzer a player?

Yes, Mike Budenholzer was a player before he became a coach.

He played college basketball at Pomona College, where he was a four-year letterman in basketball and golf.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics in 1993.

Mike was also inducted into the Pomona-Pitzer Hall of Fame in 2015.

After college, he played professionally for one season in Denmark for Vejle Basketball Klub, where he averaged a team-high 27.5 points per game.

He also served as the head coach for two youth teams of the club.

He then returned to the US and joined the San Antonio Spurs as a video coordinator in 1994.

Who is the winningest coach in the NBA Wikipedia?

An image of Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich/PHOTO COURTESY: Getty Images

According to Wikipedia, the winningest coach in NBA history is Gregg Popovich, who has 1,366 wins as of 2023.

Popovich is also the longest-tenured active coach in the NBA, having coached the San Antonio Spurs since 1996.

He has won five NBA championships, and three NBA Coach of the Year awards, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time.

Mike Budenholzer was mentored by Popovich for 19 seasons as an assistant coach with the Spurs.

He learned from Popovich’s coaching philosophy, which emphasizes teamwork, defense, and adaptability.

Budenholzer also won four NBA titles with Popovich as an assistant coach in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Who is the winningest coach in Bucks history?

An image of Mike Budenholzer
Mike Budenholzer/PHOTO COURTESY: Facebook

The winningest coach in Bucks history is Mike Budenholzer himself, who has a record of 271-120 (.693) with the Bucks as of 2023.

He surpassed Don Nelson, who had a record of 540-344 (.611) with the Bucks from 1976 to 1987.

Budenholzer also led the Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 in 2021, when they defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games.

Budenholzer joined the Bucks in 2018 after spending five seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.

He transformed the Bucks into a powerhouse team that dominated the regular season and made deep playoff runs.

He also helped Giannis Antetokounmpo develop into a two-time MVP and a Finals MVP.

Mike was named the NBA Coach of the Year twice with the Bucks in 2019 and 2020.

Who is the Bucks’s new coach?

An image of Adrian Griffin
Bucks’s new coach, Adrian Griffin/PHOTO COURTESY: Instagram

The Bucks have hired Adrian Griffin as their new head coach after firing Mike Budenholzer on May 4, 2023.

Griffin is a former NBA player who played for nine seasons with five teams.

He has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2008, working for the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and most recently, the Toronto Raptors.

Griffin is known for his defensive expertise and his leadership skills.

He was part of the Raptors’ coaching staff that won the NBA championship in 2019.

He also coached Team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup in 2014.

Griffin has been praised by his former players and colleagues for his ability to communicate and motivate them.

Mike Budenholzer wife

Mike Budenholzer was married to Mary Beth Budenholzer, who is from Corpus Christi, Texas.

They have four children: William Vincent, Savoia Elizabeth “Libby”, Hanna Louise, and John Bent “John”.

All of their children are involved in basketball or other sports.

However, Mike and Mary Beth divorced in 2018 after being together for a long time.

The reason for their divorce is not publicly known.

Budenholzer has since found a new love interest after their split.

Mike Budenholzer salary

Budenholzer’s salary as a head coach varied depending on his contract terms with different teams:

  • He signed a three-year contract worth $6 million with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013, giving him an average annual salary of $2 million.
  • He signed a four-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018, but the team did not disclose the contract details. However, some sources estimated that he was making around $8 million a year with the Bucks.
  • He also signed a three-year contract extension with the Bucks in 2021, but again, the details of his contract were not revealed.

Mike Budenholzer brother

Budenholzer has three brothers: Jim, Joe, and Richard.

They are all older than him and played basketball or golf in high school or college.

Jim is a lawyer in Arizona, Joe is a doctor in Texas, and Richard is a golf pro in California.

Mike Budenholzer also had another brother who died in a car accident during the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat in 2023.

He did not disclose which of his brothers died or the details of the accident.

Budenholzer only confirmed the news after his former assistant coach Darvin Ham revealed it to the media.

He said he loves and respects Ham and was comfortable confirming what he had told reporters.

Mike Budenholzer’s brother’s accident

Mike Budenholzer’s brother died in a car accident before Game 4 of the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat in 2023.

The accident happened in Arizona, where Mike’s family lives.

Mike did not reveal which of his brothers died or the details of the accident.

He only confirmed the news after his former assistant coach Darvin Ham revealed it to the media.

Mike said he was grateful for the support and condolences he received from his players, staff, and fans.

He also said he was proud of his team for fighting hard despite the adversity they faced.

He dedicated the Bucks’ championship run to his brother’s memory.

Where is Mike Budenholzer coaching now?

Mike Budenholzer is currently coaching the Los Angeles Lakers as their new head coach.

The Lakers hired him on June 1, 2023, after parting ways with Frank Vogel.

Budenholzer said he was excited to join the Lakers and work with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook.

He also said he was looking forward to bringing his championship experience and coaching philosophy to the Lakers.

Budenholzer is expected to help the Lakers bounce back from their disappointing first-round exit in 2023.

He is also expected to improve the Lakers’ defense and offense, as well as their chemistry and culture.

He said he wants to make the Lakers a fun and competitive team that plays with joy and passion.

Mike Budenholzer Okauchee Lake

An image of Mike Budenholzer's Okauchee Lake home
Inside Mike Budenholzer’s Okauchee Lake home/PHOTO COURTESY: Instagram

Mike Budenholzer owns a lakefront home on Okauchee Lake in Wisconsin.

He bought the property for $2.05 million in 2018, shortly after he became the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a three-car garage.

It also has a boat house, a pier, and a patio overlooking the lake.

Budenholzer said he loves living on Okauchee Lake because it reminds him of his childhood in Arizona, where he grew up near lakes and rivers.

He said he enjoys spending time with his family and friends on the lake, fishing, boating, and relaxing.

He also said he likes the community and the people around Okauchee Lake.

Mike Budenholzer Lakers

Mike Budenholzer is the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers as of June 2023.

He replaced Frank Vogel, who was fired after the Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.

Budenholzer signed a four-year contract with the Lakers, but the details of his contract were not disclosed.

Budenholzer said he was honored and humbled to join the Lakers, one of the most storied franchises in NBA history.

He said he was excited to work with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the Lakers roster.

He also said he was looking forward to bringing his championship experience and coaching philosophy to the Lakers.

Budenholzer’s offensive system is known for emphasizing ball movement, spacing, shooting, and pace.

His defensive scheme that focuses on switching, contesting shots, and forcing turnovers knows him well.

He has won two NBA Coach of the Year awards with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.

Mike also won an NBA championship with the Bucks in 2021.

Conclusion

From player to championship-winning coach, Mike Budenholzer’s NBA career is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the game.

His coaching skills, which he acquired from Gregg Popovich, helped the Bucks succeed and produced stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He now brings a winning mentality and a passion for the game to his role as head coach of the Lakers.

He continues to inspire despite personal struggles with his tenacity and determination, making a lasting impression on NBA history.

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