PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have made the decision to part ways with Nate McMillan, it was announced today by Team President Larry Miller. McMillan will no longer serve as Portland’s head coach. Assistant Coach Kaleb Canales has been named interim head coach.
“Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways,” said Miller. “I want to personally acknowledge and thank Nate for his many contributions to this franchise and wish him nothing but the best for the future.”
In six-plus seasons with Portland from 2005-12, McMillan guided the Trail Blazers to a 266-269 (.497) mark. Portland’s second-longest tenured head coach in team history, McMillan ranks third among all-time Trail Blazers head coaches with 266 wins, trailing only Jack Ramsay and Rick Adelman.
McMillan led the Trail Blazers to the postseason in each of the last three seasons (2009-11), marking Portland’s first run of three consecutive playoff appearances since 2001-03. The Trail Blazers shared the Northwest Division crown with Denver in 2008-09 after posting a 54-28 record, McMillan’s best as a coach.
After taking over as Trail Blazers head coach in 2005, McMillan became just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by nine wins or more in three straight seasons when Portland increased its win total by 33 games between 2005-06 and 2008-09.
McMillan is one of only two Portland coaches to be named Western Conference Coach of the Month three times (Adelman). He earned the honor in December 2007, April 2009 and April 2011.