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Simpson’s Chad Buchanan ’95 Named General Manager of Indiana Pacers

Simpson’s Chad Buchanan ’95 Named General Manager of Indiana Pacers

Chad Buchanan '95 has landed one of the most coveted jobs in professional sports, and it all started at Simpson College.

Buchanan is expected to assume the role of General Manager for the Indiana Pacers. He previous spent two seasons as the assistant general manager for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

This is a major promotion for Buchanan, who majored in business management and minored in sports administration during his time at Simpson.

He and his wife, Melanie Richardson Buchanan '98, have two children. Chad once said his Simpson background has been invaluable in his career.

"I think the one thing Simpson helped me prepare for is you can't sit in a classroom and hide," he said. "You have to interact with people and learn how to deal with different personalities. You have to be able to communicate and express yourself, which is critical for my job, dealing with coaches, agents, players and other executives." 

A professional general manager has a full plate. GMs typically oversee all player personnel matters, including professional and collegiate scouting, draft preparations, player acquisitions, salary cap management, training camp, preseason scheduling and the team's athletic training, equipment and conditioning programs.

Originally from West Des Moines, Buchanan played basketball and baseball for the Storm and was an assistant coach under Bruce Wilson from 1997-2002. He played both sports all four years.

Buchanan got his start in the NBA with the Portland Trailblazers, where he spent 10 years before moving to Charlotte. In his last seven years in Portland he served as the Director of College Scouting.

He got glimpse of the GM position in 2011-12, when he was Portland's Acting General Manager. 

At Simpson, Buchanan was a second team All-Iowa Conference performer as a senior in 1994-95, helping the Storm to an Iowa Conference Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-3 guard averaged more than 15 points per game and made a school-record 81 3-pointers during the season. He ranks fourth in school history with 148 career 3s. 

A pitcher on the baseball team, Buchanan helped Simpson to a conference title as a junior in 1994.

"You can't just be a number at Simpson like you can at a big school," Buchanan once said when he worked with the Trail Blazers. "You have to become somebody when you go to a smaller school, and that's really helped me with my job every day."

Indianapolis Star's story on Buchanan's new job