It was reported earlier that Ryan Schmidt would be named head coach of the Atlanta Hawks G League affiliate College Park Skyhawks. Now, the Skyhawks have officially tapped he and Daniel Starkman to lead the franchise going into the 2023-24 season. Of note, Schmidt will continue to be an assistant on the Atlanta Hawks under Quin Snyder in a hybrid role. Per Hawks PR, the following announcement was made on Friday:
COLLEGE PARK, Ga. – The College Park Skyhawks today announced Daniel Starkman as the team’s third general manager in franchise history, while Ryan Schmidt will be the team’s third head coach. Schmidt will also serve as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks under Head Coach Quin Snyder.
“I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity and for the organization’s belief in me. I’m eager to start this journey of helping build the Skyhawks into a team that reflects this organization’s emphasis on player development,” said Starkman. “I look forward to working alongside Coach Schmidt and the Skyhawks staff, as well as with the entire Hawks staff to continue building a model here for sustained development and success, both on and off the court.”
“It’s an honor to join the Atlanta Hawks organization as the new head coach of the College Park Skyhawks and work on the Hawks coaching staff. I’m extremely appreciative for the opportunity provided by Landry, Kyle, and Quin, and am honored to play a part in helping carry out their vision,” said Schmidt. “I’m looking forward to working alongside Daniel and our staff to put together a team that will be competitive and play beautiful basketball that our fans will enjoy. My family and I are excited to be in Atlanta and can’t wait to get started.”
Starkman has served as the senior manager of basketball operations for the Atlanta Hawks for the past four seasons, and just concluded his eighth season in the organization overall. He began with the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in 2015 before being promoted to several different positions within basketball operations, including manager of basketball operations, manager of basketball information/scouting coordinator, and coordinator of basketball operations. He has been a key part of the organization’s scouting and development operations, gathering info on and evaluating players at every level.
“With Daniel, we are getting someone who intimately knows the organization, knows our vision, and is aligned with our vision for player scouting and development,” said Atlanta Hawks General Manager Landry Fields. “Daniel’s experience makes him the perfect person to lead the Skyhawks and to collaborate with our team so that we can make our organization successful in all its ways.”
A native of Coral Springs, FL, and graduate of the University of Florida, Starkman earned a bachelor’s in business administration, while also serving as a student manager for the men’s basketball team from 2011-15. He married his wife, Faith, in 2019 and they have a son, Joseph.
Schmidt spent the past season as head coach of the London Lions of the British Basketball League (BBL), leading the team to three domestic titles while becoming the first British team to reach the playoff stages of the EuroCup. Schmidt was named the 2023 BBL Coach of the Year, guiding the team to a 32-4 record on the campaign. He originally joined the Lions in 2021-22 in a player development capacity before becoming head coach.
“Ryan is a terrific young coach with a well-deserved reputation for player development,” said Hawks Head Coach Quin Snyder. “His previous coaching experiences, both in the G League and internationally, have prepared him to contribute in a variety of ways to the Hawks - in addition to his head coaching role in College Park. We are fortunate to add a leader with his skill set and experience as we plan to further deepen the connectivity between the Hawks and the Skyhawks.”
“At every level, Ryan has brought winning and development to the teams he leads. He has been instrumental in furthering players into brighter careers,” said Fields. “We believe Ryan has exactly the type of leadership qualities that will bring the best out of our players and enhance our cohesive growth process.”
Schmidt’s head coaching experience began in Canada, where he coached the Brampton Honey Badgers from 2020-2022, earning the 2022 CEBL Coach of the Year for leading the Honey Badgers to first place in the regular season standings and to the CEBL Championship. In three seasons with the Honey Badgers, he posted an overall record of 28-16 (.636) and reached the playoff semifinals in 2020 and 2022. Thirty of Schmidt’s players went on to sign pro contracts immediately following their CEBL season under his tutelage.
Schmidt also possesses experience in the NBA G League, having spent four seasons (2017-21) as an assistant coach for Raptors 905, the NBA G League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. Among his accomplishments with Raptors 905 are having six players being promoted to the NBA and two players (Chris Boucher, Jordan Loyd) being named to the All-NBA G League Team.
A native of Keizer, OR, Schmidt played college basketball at the University of Hawaii (2001-04) and at Western Oregon University (2004-05). While at Western Oregon, Schmidt served as team captain and led the Wolves in scoring his senior year before being selected by Idaho in the 2008 NBA Development League Draft. Schmidt played for Honolulu in the American Basketball Association during the 2009-10 season. He and his wife, Whitney, have a daughter named Deklynn.