Chicago Bulls

Former Bulls coach Jim Boylen hired as Pacers assistant

NBA lifer will help Rick Carlisle's defense after working for Indiana as consultant last season

The Indiana Pacers hired former Bulls coach Jim Boylen as an assistant

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Jim Boylen is back on an NBA bench.

After serving as a consultant last season for the Indiana Pacers, the franchise named him an assistant coach on Rick Carlisle's coaching staff on Saturday. The former Bulls coach has over two decades of NBA experience and has developed a reputation as a defensive strategist.

This will be Boylen's second stint with the Pacers. He previously served as Frank Vogel's assistant from 2011-13.

For the Bulls, Boylen spent close to three seasons as Fred Hoiberg's associate head coach before taking over when John Paxson fired Hoiberg in December 2018. Boylen guided the rebuilding Bulls to a 17-41 mark the remainder of the 2018-19 season and a 22-43 mark in 2019-20, a season cut short by the pandemic.

Boylen's Bulls' tenure featured some loud headlines, including a team meeting where players voiced their objection to being called into practice following a back-to-back set of games that included a franchise-record 133-77 loss to the Boston Celtics. Boylen also had a high-profile benching of Zach LaVine. All along, Boylen steadfastly insisted he was implementing Paxson's desire to change the franchise's culture.

Months after Artūras Karnišovas replaced Paxson as executive vice president in April 2020, he replaced Boylen with Billy Donovan.

Boylen stayed busy during his time off an NBA bench by serving as director of the annual NBA Draft Combine and coaching USA Basketball as it qualified for the FIBA World Cup. In the latter role, he drew praise from everyone from incoming USA Basketball head coach Steve Kerr and USA Basketball men's national team managing director Grant Hill.

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