Larry Drew was out of a job — but not for long.

The Atlanta Hawks decided to hire a new coach Tuesday, after Drew had served as the franchise's coach for the past three seasons.

But on Friday the 55-year-old Drew landed firmly on his feet, agreeing in principle to a three-year contract to coach the Milwaukee Bucks. The contract has a team option for the fourth year, according to a source.

Drew will take over a Bucks team in transition with more changes ahead this summer.

Point guard Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent, and shooting guard Monta Ellis has to decide whether to opt out or exercise an $11 million option for next season. Top reserve guard J.J. Redick is an unrestricted free agent and Mike Dunleavy, who has played the last two years as the Bucks sixth man, also is unrestricted.

Drew's experience won out as he was hired after Bucks officials held second interviews Wednesday with him and Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson. The Bucks also considered several other candidates, including veteran assistant Steve Clifford, who was hired as Charlotte's coach Monday.

Drew has coached in the NBA since 1992 and was the lead assistant for six years under Mike Woodson in Atlanta before becoming head coach in 2010.

The Hawks went 128-102 in three seasons under Drew and reached the playoffs each year, advancing to the conference semifinals in 2011.

"He was highly regarded by those that have played for him and those that he has worked under as an assistant coach," Bucks general manager John Hammond said.

"And even those that coached him in his playing career (spoke highly). Along with the outstanding job he did in the interview process, we felt like he was the right person for our job."

Drew also served as an assistant under Byron Scott in New Jersey and Doug Collins in Washington, giving him a variety of coaching approaches to study. And Drew said he was influenced greatly at the end of his playing career by then Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley.

A news conference to introduce Drew is scheduled Monday morning at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Drew was not available for comment Friday.

The native of Kansas City, Kan., becomes the 13th coach in Bucks history, following Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan.

Skiles coached the Bucks for four-plus years before exiting in early January, and Boylan finished the season as interim coach. The Bucks went 38-44 and reached the Eastern Conference playoffs but were swept by top-seeded Miami in the first round.

Hammond stressed before the coaching search began that he was looking for a coach who could maintain a strong relationship with the players while also being able to enforce discipline.

The Bucks did not have a unified locker room at the end of the season and teammates Ellis and Larry Sanders had to be separated after Game 3 of the playoff series against Miami, according to reports.