O’BRIEN NAMES ASSISTANT COACHES
O’Brien is rejoined by assistants Dick Harter, Lester Conner and Frank Vogel, all of who worked with O’Brien when he was the head coach at Boston and Philadelphia. Dan Burke, a Pacers’ assistant coach the last 10 years, remains on staff and Jay DeFruscio, head coach at Wheeling Jesuit University the last 18 years, also joins O’Brien’s staff.
Harter is no stranger to the Pacers. This will be his third stint as an assistant with the team, having worked for Jack Ramsay (1986-88) and Larry Bird (1997-00). The 76-year-old Harter was the first head coach for the expansion Charlotte Hornets (1988-90) and has been an assistant under Pat Riley with the New York Knicks and P.J. Carlesimo with the Portland Trail Blazers.
This will be Conner’s 10th season as an assistant coach in the NBA. A former first-round pick of the Golden State Warriors in the 1982 NBA Draft, the 47-year-old Conner spent 13 seasons in the NBA as a player, including a brief stint with the Pacers in 1993-94 when he played 11 regular season games and six playoff games. Vogel started with the Celtics as the team’s head video coordinator before becoming an assistant with O’Brien in 2001 and, with Harter and Conner, moved to Philadelphia when O’Brien became coach there. The 33-year-old Vogel spent the last two seasons as a regional and advance scout.
The 48-year-old Burke joined the Pacers as part of Bird’s staff, serving as assistant coach and scouting director and was on the bench with former coach Rick Carlisle the last three seasons. DeFruscio, 46, had a 311-212 record at Wheeling Jesuit with four straight 20-win seasons and two NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. He was the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year twice.