Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno resigns due to personal reasons

He was the only holdover from Nate McMillan's staff and worked closely with Oladipo and Sabonis.

Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno is stepping away, leaving the franchise after four and half years. The decision was finalized on Monday, citing personal and health reasons.

"I appreciate the impact Coach Bayno has had on our players and the Pacers organization over the last five years,” Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said in a statement. “All of us at the Pacers wish him the very best as he transitions to his next chapter."

Something was first out of place on Sunday, Jan. 25 when the Pacers hosted the Raptors to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the second straight night. Newcomer Caris LeVert was away because he had kidney cancer surgery scheduled for the following day, but Bayno was also absent.

A team official said it was due to personal reasons. I asked Bjorkgren about him three times, most recently as one week ago, but not much was shared.

“Just still a private matter and out for personal reasons,” Bjorkgren said. “Just respect that the best we can.”

Bayno lost his father in 2019. He was scheduled to go overseas with Domantas Sabonis that summer, but canceled. He did spend time in Los Angeles this past offseason with Sabonis and other Pacers.

Then his mother passed away last April, and it continues to weigh on him.

In training camp, each of the coaches were assigned to players. Bayno worked closely with Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo, and continued with Sabonis.

Bayno, 58, is a basketball lifer. He’s also a social guy, so the isolation has been difficult. First, with last season abruptly paused for four months, then isolated and restricted down in the bubble. Now, team personnel are very limited in what they can do outside of their home and the team facility.

Bayno, a native of New York, has fought many battles in his life, including an anxiety disorder and the disease that is alcoholism. He went sober in 2002.

Bayno joined the Pacers coaching staff in 2016, reunited with and hired by Kevin Pritchard. The two first met during Pritchard’s freshman season at the University of Kansas, where Bayno was an assistant coach. They aren’t far apart in age, about five years.

Pritchard first hired him in 2005 to coach the Portland Trail Blazers’ summer league team and then be part of Nate McMillan’s staff in player development. That’s always been one of Bayno’s strengths.

Three years later, he took over the Loyola Marymount program, but resigned in Jan. 2009 — seven months on the job — citing declining health. One month later, he rejoined the Trail Blazers with Pritchard running the show as GM.

Bayno then spent time with the Timberwolves and Raptors before Pritchard hired him for a third time, bringing him to Indy in 2016.

When the Pacers suddenly moved on from McMillan in the offseason, Bayno was the only holdover on the coaching staff. Dan Burke and Popeye Jones joined Doc Rivers’ staff in Philadelphia

Bjorkgren then hired Kaleb Canales and Greg Foster, along with six others to help complete his staff (as seen above).

Bayno always sat in the fifth chair over from the scorer’s table, next to Canales and closest to the players. In Bayno’s first four games away, assistant coach for player development Tyler Marsh moved up to that seat, then Calbert Cheaney for the next few. Marsh was in that seat for the Pacers’ last game on Sunday, a 103-95 loss to the Jazz.

The Pacers are 3-5 since Bayno’s departure and on their first three-game slide of Bjorkgren’s tenure as Pacers head coach. With four games this week, including the next three on the road, the Pacers were given Monday off.