ERIE, Penn. (NEWS CENTER) -- After years of helping other NBA coaches craft their game plans, Josh Longstaff will finally be calling the plays for his own team.

Longstaff is the new head coach of the Erie BayHawks. They are the Atlanta Hawks affiliate team in the NBA G League, which also includes the Maine Red Claws. Road trips to play the Claws will be a homecoming for the 34-year-old Portland native.

In announcing Longstaff's hiring on Tuesday, BayHawks General Manager Malik Rose said, "Josh is a tremendous communicator and has shown the ability to build productive relationships with young players. His passion and knowledge of player development fits in perfectly with the program we are building in Erie as well as Atlanta."

Longstaff gained his experience by working his way up the NBA system. Between 2010 and 2014, he worked for he Oklahoma Thunder, first as Player Personnel and Video Coordinator and later as Video Analyst and Player Development Coach. He spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks.

Longstaff also brings a player's perspective to the game. After distinguishing himself on the court with Portland High School, he earned letterman honors for four years at Bryant University in Rhode Island.