Wharton alum is new coach of NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies

Taylor Jenkins has been hired to lead the Grizzlies, who finished 33-49 this season and currently have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Taylor Jenkins Wharton Penn Memphis Grizzlies
Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBA Entertainment via Getty Images

Taylor Jenkins, a 2007 graduate of the Wharton School, has been named head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced on Tuesday.

“We are excited to welcome Taylor Jenkins to the Grizzlies organization,” Grizzlies Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Zachary Z. Kleiman said in a statement. “Taylor has an excellent coaching pedigree and we are confident he will lay the groundwork of developing the young players on our roster, while having the elite basketball acumen and forward-thinking positive vision to be a high-level NBA head coach.”

During the 2018-19 season, Jenkins served as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the best record in the league (60-22) and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Toronto Raptors. 

He was an assistant coach for five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks before joining the Bucks. Jenkins was part of a coaching staff that guided the Hawks to a 60-22 record in 2014-15, the most wins in team history. The Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were defeated by the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jenkins got his start in the NBA as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs during the summer after his junior year at Penn. He later applied for a full-time internship with the team, and was offered a job the same day he graduated from Wharton. He served as an assistant coach and then head coach of the Austin Toros, the Spurs’ G League affiliate, before he was hired by the Hawks.