No surprise: Mike Budenholzer 'front runner' to replace former Suns coach Frank Vogel, reports

ESPN is reporting Mike Budenholzer is a "front runner" to replace Frank Vogel, who was fired Thursday after just one season with the Phoenix Suns.

Vogel agreed to a five-year, $31-million deal last summer as he was named head coach June 6, 2023, meaning he didn't even last a full calendar year in Phoenix. The Suns went 49-33 to land a sixth seed in the 2024 Western Conference playoffs, but were swept in the first round by the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves.

Budenholzer coached Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to the 2020-21 NBA championship as they defeated the Suns in the finals in six games. The 54-year-old was fired two seasons later following Milwaukee's first round exit in the 2023 playoffs.

Mike Budenholzer led the Milwaukee Bucks to a title in 2021.
Mike Budenholzer led the Milwaukee Bucks to a title in 2021.

From Holbrook, Arizona, Budenholzer has compiled a 484-317 coaching record in the regular season, 56-48 mark in the playoffs. A longtime assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Budenholzer was also a head coach in Atlanta.

Previous reports had Budenholzer a candidate for the vacant Lakers job following the firing of Darvin Ham, who was an assistant under Budenholzer in Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Whoever the Suns hire will be their third coach in three seasons. Monty Williams was let go after the 2022-23 season ended in the second round against the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

Have opinions about the current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Budenholzer 'front runner' to replace Vogel for Phoenix Suns, reports