The Bulls have added to their coaching staff again. The newest member is former Bucks assistant coach Josh Longstaff, a journeyman who has had close relationships with the likes of Sam Presti, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Budenholzer, Scott Brooks, Derek Fisher, John Hornacek, and Brian Keefe.
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news this morning.
Longstaff joined the Bucks organization in 2018 as an assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer. During his tenure, the Bucks finished first in the Central and made trips to the conference and semi-conference finals.
His coaching career has humble beginnings. Longstaff spent four years playing at Bryant University, a Division I school in Rhode Island. He graduated in 2005 with a marketing degree and returned to his hometown of Portland, Maine, where he served as an assistant coach at Portland High School. He spent three seasons in that role before becoming the head coach of Gorham High School, in Gorham, Maine, a neighboring town, for two years.
Longstaff then made the leap to the NBA with help of Brian Keefe, a former Bryant University assistant coach. Keefe, now an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, helped Longstaff land a video coordinator position with the Thunder in 2010. Longstaff then was promoted to player development coach for the 2011-2014 span.
He was hired for the same role with the Knicks for the 2014-15 season and was promoted by head coach Derek Fisher to assistant coach for the 2015-2016 campaign. Fisher was fired mid-season. Jeff Hornacek who replaced Fisher at the start of the 2016-17 season, kept Longstaff on in the player development role he initially had when he joined the organization. That lasted until May 2017, when the Knicks fired him. That summer, however, he worked with the Latvian National Team during EuroBasket to help develop Kristaps Porzingis.
Longstaff didn’t spend much time unemployed and was named the head coach of the Erie BayHawks, New Orleans’ G-League affiliate for the start of the 2017-18 season. He enjoyed great success, taking the new expansion team to the Conference finals in his first year.
In the summer of 2018, Longstaff joined Jeff Van Gundy’s staff on the USA World Cup Qualifying Team.
“You take something from each person and you put it towards your personality and then that’s how I think you grow as a coach,” Longstaff said when reflecting on his coaching journey.
It will be interesting to see how Longstaff’s collection of experience and knowledge will add to head coach Billy Donovan’s staff.