Pistons Name Larry Brown as Head Coach

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has named Larry Brown as head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, all other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“I am pleased to be able to hire one of the elite coaches in the NBA as the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons,” said Dumars. “Larry Brown’s coaching credentials are amongst basketball’s finest, and I am confident in his ability to lead us to our goals.”

Brown, 62, brings a basketball resume that includes 31 years of coaching at the collegiate or professional level, enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2002, three ABA Coach of the Year awards, 2001 NBA Coach of the Year honors, a trip to the 2001 NBA Finals and a NCAA Championship in 1988.

“Joining the Pistons organization is a great opportunity for me,” said Brown, who becomes the 24th coach in Pistons franchise history. “They earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference this past season and Joe Dumars has constructed one of the top young rosters in the league. The future for this team is very promising and I look forward to being part of the success.”

Brown joins the Pistons after spending six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. He has posted a winning record in 27 of his 31 seasons as a professional head coach or collegiate head coach and has compiled a career record of 1,285-853 (.601). In 20 NBA seasons he has a record of 879-685 (.562), ranking seventh all-time among NBA coaches in victories [surpassing Cotton Fitzsimmons (832) and Jack Ramsay (684) during the past season] and fourth amongst active coaches.

2000-01 was a milestone season for Brown and the Sixers as the team recorded its best year in nearly two decades. He led the club to 56 wins, the most since 1984-85, the best record in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division title. In addition, he passed Gene Shue (784) for ninth place on the all-time NBA coaching victory list, earned NBA Coach of the Year honors and guided the team to the NBA Finals, his first trip in 18 years as a NBA coach.

Prior to joining the Sixers, Brown spent four seasons (1993-94 to 1996-97) as head coach of the Indiana Pacers and compiled a record of 190-138 (.579). The Pacers’ all-time winningest NBA coach, he took the team to the playoffs three times, including the Eastern Conference Finals twice. Before joining Indiana, Brown was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets, who he helped transition from the ABA to the NBA in 1976-77. He took the Spurs to the postseason twice (1990 and 1991), the Clippers twice (1992 and 1993), the Nets once (1983) and the Nuggets twice (1977 and 1978).

Brown spent four seasons in the ABA, earning Coach of the Year honors three times. After two seasons each with Carolina and Denver, Brown returned to the collegiate ranks in 1979 as head coach at UCLA. The Bruins went to the national championship game in Brown’s first year in Westwood. After a two-year stint with the New Jersey Nets (1981-83), Brown would spend the next five seasons as head coach at the University of Kansas, where he won the national championship in 1988.

Brown, who became the first coach in NBA history to guide six different NBA franchises to the playoffs, will also serve as head coach for the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team. Brown will direct the USA Basketball team that will compete at the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (August 20-31 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.