The coaching search appears to be over. While Vlade Divac and the Kings took their time assembling a wide variety of candidates, it appears they may have gotten the person they were after all along in former Memphis coach Dave Joerger. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Joerger and the Kings have agreed in principle to a deal that will make him the next head coach of the Kings. The deal is reportedly 4 years, $16 million with the 4th year being a team option.
The Kings wasted no time securing Joerger as soon as he was let go from the Grizzlies on Friday. They sent a private jet to go pick him up for a meeting on Sunday, and today he met with ownership to discuss the terms of a deal. The Kings managed to close this very quickly before he could interview for any of the other coaching openings, although it should be noted that Joerger did seem to be interested in the Kings job in particular.
Joerger spent his entire NBA coaching career with the Memphis Grizzlies, serving 6 years as an assistant before assuming the head role for the last 3 seasons in which he led the Grizzlies to a 147-99 overall record and 3 playoff appearances. He now takes over a Kings team that just won 30+ games for the first time since 2008 and hasn't reached the playoffs in a decade. He's got his work cut out for him, we'll see if he's up to the task.
Welcome to the team, Coach Joerger.
The Kings have issued a press release on Joerger's hiring. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 10 am.
Sacramento Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac today named Dave Joerger as the team's new head coach. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"I am thrilled to welcome Dave to the Sacramento Kings," said Divac. "He is a strong and passionate leader with a proven track record of producing results. Dave shares our focus on creating a long-term culture of winning and I look forward to a bright future ahead for the Kings with his leadership on the court."
Joerger joins the Kings after spending the previous three years as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, where he accrued a 147-99 regular season mark (.598) and guided the franchise to postseason berths in each of his seasons at the helm. Following three straight 50-win campaigns for the first time in club history (2012-13 thru 2014-15), two under Joerger, Memphis again qualified for the playoffs even after injuries forced the team to dress a league-record 28 players last season. Until then, no NBA team had reached the playoffs utilizing 24 or more athletes on its roster in a single season.
Prior to entering the NBA ranks, Joerger won accolades as one of the most successful minor league coaches in history, piloting five teams to championships in three different basketball leagues from 2000-07. Demonstrating strong player development skills, Joerger sent 18 of his players to the NBA during his time in the minor leagues. By the time he was hired by the Grizzlies as an assistant coach in 2007, Joerger had collected titles in the NBA Development League, CBA (Continental Basketball Association) and IBL (International Basketball League).
A Moorhead State alumnus, Joerger played collegiate basketball and then joined the Dakota Wizards of the IBL as the team's general manager before entering the coaching ranks in 2000. He and his wife, Kara, are the parents of two daughters, Alli and Kiana.