Grizzlies Name Iavaroni as Head Coach
MEMPHIS, May 31, 2007 - Grizzlies majority owner Michael Heisley today named Marc Iavaroni as the team’s new head coach.
"Marc is going to make an immediate impact on this organization, team and city and we are honored that he will be making his NBA head coaching debut with Memphis,” said Heisley. "He is highly regarded by Jerry West as a coach with extraordinary basketball knowledge and skill, and we look forward to having him guide the Grizzlies in our pursuit of a championship."
Iavaroni joins Memphis for his first head coaching stint after serving the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns, including the last three and a half years as the team's lead assistant. He brings a total of 17-years of professional experience as either a player or coach, including a three-year stint as assistant coach/director of player development with the Miami Heat (1999-2002) and two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (1997-99). He also assisted the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team in training for the 2006 FIBA Championships in Japan.
"I am very excited to join an organization that is determined to do what it takes to win,” said Iavaroni. "I look forward to developing the types of relationships necessary to have the best shot of achieving that goal. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the outcome will be rewarding. I have always enjoyed Memphis and the people are very friendly. I look forward to getting to know the city and the fans better, and helping to fulfill their desire to have a winning basketball organization."
A seven-year NBA veteran from 1982-1989, Iavaroni spent time with Philadelphia, San Antonio and Utah, including a starting role as a rookie on the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team. He later concluded his professional playing career in Milan before retiring in 1991, playing a total of five seasons in Italy and Spain, including three seasons after his college career and two seasons following his NBA career.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. Following his playing career, he was also an assistant coach for two seasons (1992-94) at Bowling Green State.
Born in Jamaica, NY, Iavaroni and his wife Caroline have three sons, Kenton (19), McCray (17) and Jackson (15).