Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach

Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach

The chance he's long coveted has finally arrived.

Nurse, 50, replaces Dwane Casey, whom he worked under for the past five seasons. The team ranked third in the National Basketball Association in offensive efficiency this past season, sixth in 2016-17, fifth the year prior, third in 2014-15, and ninth in 2013-14.

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According to TSN's Josh Lewenberg, Nurse was on a list of internal candidates being considered that included Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse (who joined the Memphis Grizzlies staff last week) and assistant Rex Kalamian.

On Tuesday, the Raptors finally made a decision to move forward with Nurse, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, in an effort to get a new lead voice in the locker room but not go through a total staff change given their success developing players and in the regular season. ESPN first reported the hiring.

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The move seems to suggest there will be at least some continuity between what the Raptors have been doing and what they'll do on his watch.

Nick Nurse, head coach of the Iowa Energy, thanks the fans following the team's game against the Tulsa 66ers at the Wells Fargo Arena on April 18, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.

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"I've learned a lot about preparation from him, the seriousness of attention to detail", Nurse told Canada's Sportsnet in February. "We have to know everything the other team is doing and really work hard and grind it out". Nevermind that Casey is a legitimate contender for Coach of the Year-General Manager Masai Ujiri felt the team needed a new leader.

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