The Los Angeles D-Fenders on Monday have named Coby Karl as head coach. He replaces Casey Owens, who takes over as an assistant coach and advance scout on the Los Angeles Lakers staff.
“We are excited to welcome Coby back to the D-Fenders family as our new head coach,” Buss said. “His extensive experience as both a player and coach in this league is something we’re very happy to bring to the organization as we look to build on a season of success.”
“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” Karl said. “My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D-Fenders organization.”
Karl returns to the D-Fenders organization after appearing in 17 games for the team during the 2007-08 season while on assignment from the Lakers. On February 19, 2008, Karl became the second player in NBA Development League history to play in an NBADL and NBA game in the same day, following former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar. As a player, Karl saw action with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors of the NBA, as well as with the D-Fenders, Reno Bighorns, and Idaho Stampede of the NBADL. He most recently served as an assistant coach on the Westchester Knicks staff during the 2015-16 season at the conclusion of his playing career.
Karl, the son of NBA veteran coach George Karl, began his coaching career by spending last season as an assistant coach with the Westchester Knicks. While in the Empire State, he helped the Knicks earn their first playoff berth in franchise history as Westchester improved from 10-40 in 2014-15 to 28-22 during the 2015-16 campaign.
Undrafted in 2007, Karl was invited to participate in training camp with the Lakers, making the Opening Day 15-man roster as a free agent. Karl would go on to play professionally for eight seasons before retiring in 2015.
Along with his domestic experience, Karl also knows the international game, having played professionally in Spain, Italy, and Germany.