The Memphis Grizzlies today announced they have signed head coach Dave Joerger to a contract extension. Which is surprising considering there have been recent reports suggesting that the Grizzlies and Joerger were on their way to a separation. But whatever the case, the two sides have chosen to stick together.
“I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to extend Dave Joerger as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Controlling Owner Robert Pera said. “Following an open and honest dialogue with Dave, it became clear that Dave was fully committed to Memphis and we are committed to him. I look forward to seeing Dave build upon the foundation he helped establish over the last seven years, and we are both committed to bringing a championship to Memphis.”
In his first season as an NBA head coach, Joerger guided Memphis to a 50-32 record (.610) during the regular season, the third 50-win campaign in franchise history, and a club-record fourth consecutive appearance in the NBA Playoffs. Memphis was eliminated by the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in a seven-game first-round playoff series that featured an NBA postseason-record four straight overtime games, three of which were won by the Grizzlies.
Joerger was named Western Conference Coach of the Month twice last season (January and April), becoming the first person to win the award multiple times in his first season as an NBA head coach since it was divided by conference in 2002-03. He posted the best record of the 10 first-year NBA head coaches last season and tied the franchise record for most wins by a head coach in his first full year helming the Grizzlies (Hubie Brown in 2003-04).
“I am absolutely thrilled to continue as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for years to come,” Joerger said. “I want to thank Robert Pera for believing in me. I look forward to building on the success we experienced this year with our core group of players that I have worked closely with over the past seven years as we work towards our ultimate goal of winning a world championship. I am 100 percent committed to leading the Grizzlies and I could not be more proud to call Memphis home.”
Introduced as the 12th head coach in franchise history on June 28, 2013, Joerger served the previous six seasons as an assistant coach for the Grizzlies, including two as the lead assistant (2011-13). In his final season as lead assistant (2012-13), Joerger helped guide Memphis to franchise records for regular season wins (56) and winning percentage (.683) and led the Grizzlies the 2013 Western Conference Finals.
Before earning his first NBA assistant coaching job with the Grizzlies, Joerger gained fame as head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League Champion Dakota Wizards. Dakota’s 2007 title marked Joerger’s fifth as a head coach after winning one International Basketball Association (IBA) championship and three more in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). Joerger owns two CBA Coach of the Year Awards (2002, 2004) and a head coaching record of 232-117 (.665) in the minor leagues.