Report: Grizzlies to promote assistant Dave Joerger to head coach

06/25/2013 1:26 PM ET
By Mike Tanowitz

The Memphis Grizzlies have reached an agreement in principle to promote assistant coach Dave Joerger to their head coaching job, according to several reports on Tuesday.

The Grizzlies' gig officially became available when Lionel Hollins was not offered a new contract last month, despite Hollins leading the Grizzlies to a franchise-record 56 wins and their first-ever trip to the Western Conference Finals.

Joerger, 39, has spent six seasons on the Grizzlies bench, first as an apprentice to Marc Iavaroni and then to Hollins. Prior to joining the Memphis staff, he was a head coach at four different professional levels below the NBA, winning five titles in seven seasons in the IBA, CBA, USBL, and NBA D-League.

The Grizzlies had also interviewed ex-Suns coach Alvin Gentry and Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney - and even toyed with the idea of reaching out to recently-deposed Denver boss George Karl - but appear to have stuck with an assistant who has been a favorite for the gig since Hollins' departure.

With the hiring of Joerger, the Association will see at least seven first time coaches manage their teams at the start of the 2013-2014 season. That total may rise, as the Philadelphia 76ers still have a vacancy and the Boston Celtics will once the league approves Doc Rivers' move to the Clippers.

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