The San Antonio Spurs have announced that Matt Nielsen has been named assistant coach. Nielsen joins Becky Hammon and Mitch Johnson on head coach Gregg Popovich’s staff.
Nielsen spent last season as head coach of the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s official NBA G League affiliate. The native of Australia led Austin to a 10-5 record and a spot in the 2021 G League Playoffs. Nielsen spent 2019-20 as an assistant coach in Austin and began his coaching career in San Antonio, serving as a player development assistant during the 2014-15 season. In addition, he was an assistant coach with the Spurs summer league team from 2014-19.
Prior to making the move to the G League, Nielsen spent four seasons (2015-19) as an assistant coach with the Perth Wildcats, where he helped guide the team to three NBL championships.
As a 17-year-old, Nielsen made his professional debut playing with the Sydney Kings in 1995. After nine seasons in the NBL, where he won two championships and was named MVP in 2004, Nielsen moved to Europe and played nine seasons in Lithuania, Greece and Spain.
Nielsen played for the Australian National Team from 1997-2012. He represented the Boomers at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics and helped lead Australia to the gold medal at the 1997 FIBA Under-21 World Championship. Nielsen most recently served as an assistant coach for the Boomers at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo where Australia captured bronze, earning the country’s first-ever medal in men’s basketball.