Raptors assistant Nurse promoted to head coach

Nurse, 50, replaces Dwane Casey who was sacked last month after the Raptors were swept in the conference semifinals by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Updating an item from yesterday that suggested the Toronto Raptors had narrowed their head coaching search down to two candidates, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that the "growing expectation" in coaching circles is that Nick Nurse is the choice.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nurse was 23 when he became head coach of Grand View College, making him the youngest college basketball coach in the U.S. He was also named D-League Coach of the Year in 2011.

Nurse takes over a team that had an Eastern Conference-best 59 wins in the season just ended. He also won two rings at the minor-league level.

The short version of that: Hiring internally is unsexy, but most signals point to Nurse being a legitimately good candidate as an National Basketball Association head coach.

Nurse joined the Raptors five years ago as an assistant and was tasked with overseeing the team's offence alongside Casey.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996. During his seven-year tenure, Casey went 320-238 (.573). He is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader with.468 (170 of 363).

"I leave here with my head high", he told TSN via text message in May.