Pistons name Van Gundy as head coach, president
(Reuters) - The Detroit Pistons named Stan Van Gundy their head coach and president of basketball operations with hopes he can reshape the struggling franchise, the NBA team said on Wednesday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but multiple reports said Van Gundy, who will be formally introduced at a news conference on Thursday, agreed to a five-year pact worth an estimated $35 million.
"Stan is a proven winner in our league," Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. "He instills his teams with passion, purpose and toughness. He is a great teacher who will help our players grow and develop."
Van Gundy, who will have final say over basketball decisions as part of his new role, takes over a once-proud franchise that has fallen on hard times and missed the playoffs in each of the last five seasons.
He replaces head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who stepped down from the position last month, and interim coach John Loyer, who took over in February when first-year coach Maurice Cheeks was fired after only 50 games.
Van Gundy has an career regular-season record of 371-208 in seven-plus seasons as a head coach and has reached the NBA playoffs seven times.
He served five years as head coach of the Orlando Magic from 2007-2012, where he led the team to five playoff appearances, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2009.
Van Gundy also served as head coach of the Miami Heat for two-plus seasons from 2003-05 and his 112 coaching victories with the team are the fourth-most in the franchise's history.
"Stan is more than just a great coach, he's a great leader," said Gores. "What I'm most excited about is how Stan can help us shape the franchise and instill what it means to be the best."
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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