The club's placed no time-frame on his tenure, but interim Hawks coach Justin Tatum has made no secret of his desire to use a stint as care-taker as a head coaching audition.
Tatum was installed as interim coach on Tuesday after the axe fell on Jacob Jackomas following a 2-7 start to the season. It contributed to an overall record to 5-32 since the long-time Brian Goorjian protege took the reins, with the club pulling the trigger while faint play-in hopes remain.
The struggles since appointing Jackomas have left the front office reticent to bank on another rookie coach, with CEO Stu Taggart making it clear on Tuesday that the club will be looking for a candidate with "proven success" in its search for a replacement.
The club has put five-time championship-winner Trevor Gleeson in its sights, while general manager Mat Campbell said on Tuesday that the FIBA window will be used to look at short and long-term coaching options.
It would likely take a playoff run for Tatum to force his way into consideration, but it's what the newly minted head coach has his sights set on.
"My goal is to become a head coach professionally somehow, some way," Tatum said.
"It's production based and it's day by day. If I do well enough, and we do well enough and management thinks that I'm their man for next year, I definitely will step up and hopefully be a [candidate] for that role.
"These guys want a consistent familiar voice and hopefully I can be that person until the end of the season and do very well. But at the end of the day management have to do what they need to do.
"Nothing is promised, nothing is set, but my role is to be the interim head coach, an active head coach and win games. Our goal is to make it to the playoffs and we have a really great chance of doing that once we get going."
Tatum's new role caps a rapid rise through the pro ranks less than a year after drawing the curtain on a stellar career in the Missouri high school system.
Initially employed as a US-based scout, Tatum was added to Jackomas' coaching staff prior to season tip-off and, while he's been quick to embrace his mission, he said the club's decision to axe Jackomas came as a surprise.
"[I was] very surprised," Tatum said.
"I knew what my role was coming in in the beginning, to be an advocate and be a really helpful assistant coach, but things happen. I understand the situation last year with the [3-25] record.
"It's nothing in my control but, at the end of the day, we were clearly heading on the same way and the management decided something out of my hands.
"It's an unexpected blessing but [I'm] ready and I just want to make sure these guys get it together. They understand the situation I'm in and they're going to help me out more than anything by coming focused at practice and coming to compete in games.
"The guys have got my back and so that's all I need."
"I'm pretty sure that 3-25 stuck in the back of our heads, especially the returners, but a lot of the guys didn't return with that record," Tatum said.
"I'm a fresh voice and I told everybody we are 0-0 right now so that gives them life and hope to understand that 3-25 is behind us. The 2-7 is still lurking around, but we're going in with a 0-0 type of mindset.
"I don't see enough smiles, handshaking and high fives in the huddles because we're used to being down or just not in that competitive mode. When we come on Sunday, we'll be much more energised and much more excited.
"Guys will play more freely knowing that they have somebody that is going to trust them a little bit more and give them a leash to make mistakes, but they understand they make too many there's consequences to that."
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