Pistons confirm Van Gundy hire


The Sports Network

Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Stan Van Gundy was officially announced as the new head coach and president of basketball operations of the Detroit Pistons Wednesday, one day after multiple media outlets reported the veteran bench boss would be joining the struggling organization.

Van Gundy, who led Orlando to the 2009 NBA Finals and owns a 371-208 record as a head coach, will be formally introduced at a press conference scheduled for Thursday.

The 54-year-old also took the Magic to the 2010 Eastern Conference finals, but was fired by the team two years later following back-to-back first-round playoff exits.

Van Gundy, who previously served as head coach for the Miami Heat for two-plus seasons (2003-05) prior to his five-year run in Orlando, comes to a franchise that has missed the playoffs in five straight seasons and posted its second straight 29-53 campaign in 2013-14.

"Stan is a proven winner in our league," said Pistons owner Tom Gores. "He instills his teams with passion, purpose and toughness. He is a great teacher who will help our players grow and develop. 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."

Detroit's recent lack of success led to longtime president Joe Dumars' resignation in April.

Van Gundy, whose .641 winning percentage is the sixth-best among NBA coaches with 500 or more games of experience, becomes the Pistons' sixth head coach since the team reached the 2008 Eastern Conference finals under Flip Saunders.

Michael Curry, John Kuester, Lawrence Frank, Maurice Cheeks and John Loyer have all led the team since that run, with none of the group winning more than 39 games in a season.

"Tom's vision of building for the future, while seeking immediate improvement is a challenge that I embrace," said Van Gundy in a statement. "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."

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