Stan Van Gundy today has been named head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons. For Van Gundy, the ability to have significant control over personnel decisions was vital, as he certainly did not want to repeat his Orlando experience in which Dwight Howard's pending free agency led to instability in the locker room and on the roster.
“It is an honor to be chosen to help Tom Gores build the Pistons into a team that competes for championships,” said Van Gundy. “Tom’s vision of building for the future, while seeking immediate improvement is a challenge that I embrace. We will work to put a team on the floor that reflects the franchise’s rich tradition and embodies the toughness and work ethic of fans in the Detroit area.”
Van Gundy has an NBA career regular-season record of 371-208 (.641) in seven-plus seasons as a head coach and has reached the NBA Playoffs seven times. His .641 winning percentage is sixth-highest among NBA coaches with 500 or more games of head coaching experience. Van Gundy became the seventh-fastest NBA coach to record 300 wins, has coached the Eastern Conference All-Star team twice (2005, 2010), and has earned NBA Coach of the Month honors six times during his career.
“Stan is a proven winner in our league. He instills his teams with passion, purpose and toughness. He is a great teacher who will help our players grow and develop,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “Stan is more than just a great coach, he’s a great leader. What I’m most excited about is how Stan can help us shape the franchise and instill what it means to be the best. He’s also a great communicator. My time with Stan has me convinced that he will bring our players, team and community to a very proud place.”
Van Gundy joins the Pistons after serving five years as head coach of the Orlando Magic from 2007-2012, where he led the Magic to a 259-135 (.692) regular-season record, five playoff appearances and an NBA Finals appearance in 2009. His 2008-09 team led the league in defensive efficiency. In 2009-10, Van Gundy guided the Magic to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season after compiling a 59-23 (.720) regular-season record. It was the second-best mark in the NBA, and Orlando captured the Southeast Division title for the third consecutive season.
Van Gundy served as head coach of the Miami Heat for two-plus seasons from 2003-05, posting a regular season record of 112-73 (.605) and a postseason mark of 17-11 (.607). Van Gundy led Miami to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2005.
Van Gundy spent 12 years with the Heat, arriving prior to the 1995-96 season and served as assistant coach under Pat Riley for two seasons. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 1997, a position he held for six seasons.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services