Nick Nurse

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Nick Nurse
Toronto Raptors
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1967-07-24) July 24, 1967 (age 52)
Carroll, Iowa
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High schoolKuemper Catholic
CollegeNorthern Iowa (1985–1989)
Coaching career1989–present
Career history
As coach:
1989–1990Northern Iowa (assistant)
1990–1991Derby Rams (player-coach)
1991–1993Grand View
1993–1995South Dakota (assistant)
1995–1997Birmingham Bullets
1998Telindus Oostende
1998–2000Manchester Giants
2000–2001London Towers
2001Oklahoma Storm (assistant)
2001–2006Brighton Bears
2005Oklahoma Storm (assistant)
2007–2011Iowa Energy
2011–2013Rio Grande Valley Vipers
20132018Toronto Raptors (assistant)
2018–presentToronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
As a coach:

Nicholas David Nurse (born July 24, 1967) is an American basketball coach who is the head coach of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Canadian men's national team.

Coaching career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born Nicholas Jayden Nurse in Carroll, Iowa,[1][2] Nick Nurse played at the University of Northern Iowa from 1985 to 1989, appearing in 111 games, he is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader at .468 (170 of 363).[3] In his last year with Northern Iowa, Nurse became an assistant coach for the team during the 1989–90 season. After graduating from Northern Iowa in May 1990 with a B.A. in accounting,[1] Nurse became a player-coach for the Derby Rams in the British Basketball League for the 1990–91 season.

Nurse got his first full-time head coaching job at Grand View University when he was only 23 years old; at the time, he was the youngest college basketball head coach in the country,[4] he coached at Grand View for two seasons before taking on an assistant coaching role at the University of South Dakota for two seasons there.

Nurse later spent 11 seasons coaching in Europe, mostly in the British Basketball League (BBL).[4] During that time, he won two BBL championships as a head coach, one with the Birmingham Bullets in 1996 and one with the Manchester Giants in 2000, while also helming London Towers in the Euroleague [5] . Nurse also won the BBL Coach of the Year Award in the 1999–2000 and 2003–04 seasons,[6] he also coached for the Telindus Oostende of the Ethias League in 1998, as well as became an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Storm of the United States Basketball League in both 2001 and 2005.

He was also assistant coach, under Chris Finch, for the Great Britain national team from 2009–12, including at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


In 2007, Nurse accepted the head coaching job for the Iowa Energy, who were preparing for their first season in the NBA D-League (now called the NBA G League);[7] the Energy won division titles under Nurse in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. After three seasons with the team, Nurse agreed to join the coaching staff of the Iowa State Cyclones as an associate head coach in April 2010.[6] Shortly afterward, however, Cyclones head coach Greg McDermott left Iowa State to become the head coach at Creighton, and Nurse returned to his former position as head coach with the Energy.[8][9] In the 2010–11 NBA D-League season, Nurse received the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year Award after helping Iowa achieve the best record in the league (37–13).[10] Nurse and the Energy then went on to win the 2011 D-League championship.[11] Before the 2011–12 season, Nurse left the Energy for the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.[12][13] In the 2012–13 season, the Vipers finished with a record of 35–15 and won the D-League finals in a two-game sweep of the Santa Cruz Warriors.[14]

During his six seasons coaching in the D-League, Nurse had 23 players on his rosters called up to the NBA.[15]


In July 2013, Nurse departed the Vipers for an assistant job on the coaching staff of the Toronto Raptors under Dwane Casey,[16] he was in charge of the offense during his time under Casey,[15][17] and in the 2017–18 season he was credited for changes to the Raptors offensive game plan which included increases in passing and 3-point attempts.[18][19][20] The improved offense helped the Raptors win a franchise-record 59 games, but the team was swept in the second round of the 2018 NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Casey was fired shortly thereafter.[21]

On June 14, 2018, the Raptors promoted Nurse to the position of head coach to succeed Casey.[22] On May 25, 2019, Nurse coached the Raptors to the 2019 NBA Finals, the first for the franchise, after taking the Eastern Conference Championship by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.[23] On June 13, Nurse became the first head coach to win both the NBA and NBA G League (formerly D-League) titles,[24] when the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, winning the Raptors their first championship in franchise history.[25]


In June 2019, Nurse confirmed he would become the head coach of the Canadian men's national team for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup and beyond.[26][27]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Toronto 2018–19 82 58 24 .707 1st in Atlantic 24 16 8 .667 Won NBA Championship
Career 82 58 24 .707 24 16 8 .667

Personal life[edit]

Nurse and his wife Roberta Nurse (née Santos), have two sons named Noah and Leo,[28] he also has a nephew named David, who previously worked with the Brooklyn Nets before becoming a personal trainer for professional players.[29]

In December 2018, Nurse's mother Marcella died.[30]

Nurse is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and has been a guest conductor of the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."[31]


  1. ^ a b Spring Commencement [Program], May 12, 1990, Ryerson University, 1990, p. 15, retrieved June 16, 2019
  2. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (May 31, 2019). "'We've got to take it ourselves': Nick Nurse's journey to the NBA Finals". ESPN. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Hlas, Mike. "Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach". The Gazette. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Raptors 2015 Preseason Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Britball". Retrieved October 17, 2001.
  6. ^ a b Garman, Andy (April 22, 2010). "Energy Coach Nurse Takes ISU Assistant Job". KCCI. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  7. ^ "D-League Des Moines Team Announces All-Iowa Coaching Staff". NBA Development League. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "Iowa State, Nurse reach settlement". USA Today. Associated Press. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  9. ^ Peterson, Randy. "Peterson: Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is the ultimate basketball grinder — and it all started in small-town Iowa". Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Nick Nurse Named D-League Coach Of The Year – RealGM Wiretap".
  11. ^ Schroeder, Scott (April 30, 2011). "Iowa Energy Win D-League Championship Over RGV Vipers". Ridiculous Upside. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "NBA Development League: Q&A: New Rio Grande Valley Head Coach Nick Nurse". Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  13. ^ "NBA Development League: Reigning Coach of the Year Joins Vipers". Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Silva II, Dennis. "RGV Capsules: Vipers notch second title in four years". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Hinojosa, David. "Source: Vipers' Nick Nurse headed to Toronto". The Monitor. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Lebron, Steven. "The long, strange journey of a Raptors' assistant -". Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Stein, Marc (June 12, 2018). "Toronto Raptors to Promote Assistant Nick Nurse to Head Coach". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Harrison, Ian. "Toronto Raptors officially hire Nick Nurse as coach |". Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "Report: Nick Nurse agrees to deal, becomes Toronto Raptors' new coach |". Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (June 13, 2018). "Raptors promote assistant coach Nick Nurse to replace Casey". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  21. ^ Stein, Marc (May 11, 2018). "Raptors Fire Dwane Casey Days After He Wins Coaching Honor". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Hurley, Brandon (June 14, 2018). "Raptors Name Nick Nurse Head Coach". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "Toronto Raptors Eliminate Bucks for First Trip to the N.B.A. Finals". The New York Times. May 25, 2019. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  24. ^ "NBA Finals 2019: Nick Nurse becomes first head coach ever to win NBA and G League Championship". June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  25. ^ Scanlan, David; Frank, Steven (June 13, 2019). "Toronto Erupts as Kawhi Leonard, Rookie Coach Lead Raptors to NBA Title". Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "Raptors' Nick Nurse confirms he'll coach Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup". Sportsnet. June 16, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Meeting Nick Nurse's Family". November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "David Nurse trains NBA players and has them make big lifestyle changes". Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  30. ^ "Raptors coach Nick Nurse's 94-year-old mother dies". December 11, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  31. ^ "Cubs-loving Raptors coach Nick Nurse channels Harry Caray at Wrigley | The Star". Retrieved July 25, 2019.

External links[edit]