Michael Tipton | Creative Commons

Cal Poly alumnus and assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks Joe Prunty has temporarily replaced the Bucks’ head coach of four years, Jason Kidd. Kidd was fired after an underwhelming 23-22 start this season with a team many experts predicted to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference.

Kidd originally hired Prunty as an assistant coach while Kidd was the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in August of 2013. He brought Prunty with him to the Bucks after Kidd was hired as Milwaukee’s head coach before the 2014-2015 season.

Prunty, a California native, graduated from Cal Poly with a speech communications bachelor’s degree in 1991 and started his coaching career at University of San Diego High School and St. Augustine High School the following year.

Among the players Prunty coached in San Diego were Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior.

While coaching at the high school level, Prunty got word of a coaching opportunity with the San Antonio Spurs and joined the franchise as a video coordinator. Soon after, he began his assistant coaching career with the Spurs.

“He seems like one of those guys who just grinned things out,” Cal Poly Athletic Director Don Oberhelman said. “I think it demonstrates what a work ethic can do and I think Cal Poly probably had a lot to do with instilling that in him.”

The Cal Poly alumnus has been the assistant coach for the following:

  • San Antonio Spurs  (1996-2005)
  • Dallas Mavericks (2005-2008)
  • Portland Trailblazers (2008-2010)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013)
  • Brooklyn Nets (2013-2014)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (2014-2018)

Prunty has served as an interim head coach twice before in Kidd’s absence, first for two games in the 2013-2014 season with the Brooklyn Nets, and second for 17 games in the 2015-2016 season with the Bucks.

“It’s good for all things Cal Poly,” Oberhelman said. “It’s ‘Learn by Doing’ I think at its best.”

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