Pacers’ Carlisle out as coach
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Indiana’s Rick Carlisle will not return
to the team as head coach, but will have an option to remain with the Pacers
in another capacity.
Indiana finished just 35-47 in 2006-07, good for fourth place in the Central
Division. The Pacers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time
since the 1996-97 campaign.
“Rick’s contributions to this franchise, first as an assistant coach, then as
a head coach, have been tremendous,” said Pacers president of basketball
operations Larry Bird on Wednesday. “This is a mutual decision and we’re happy
that Rick will consider remaining with the franchise.”
In four seasons as the Pacers mentor, Carlisle compiled a 181-147 record and
the team made the NBA playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm.
His best season in Indianapolis was his first. In 2003-04 the Pacers posted a
61-21 record — the best mark in franchise history — and reached the Eastern
“My wife, Donna, and I are very grateful to have had the opportunity to be
part of a great organization like the Indiana Pacers for seven of the last 10
years,” said Carlisle. “We wish to thank Mel and Herb Simon, Larry Bird,
Donnie Walsh and our players for a great experience. This is a class
organization with great leadership and a loyal fan base that’s second to
Indiana’s search for a new head coach will begin immediately.